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Neoplasia. 2008 Oct;10(10):1028-40.

Noninvasive monitoring of breast cancer during neoadjuvant chemotherapy using optical tomography with ultrasound localization.

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  • 1Bioengineering Program, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, 371 Fairfield Rd, U2157, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The purposes of this study were 1) to investigate the feasibility of using optical tomography in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum combined with ultrasound (US) localization (NIR/US) in monitoring tumor vascular changes and assessing tumor pathological response during chemotherapy and 2) to compare the accuracy of NIR/US with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in predicting residual cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Eleven female patients were studied during treatments with a combined imager consisting of a commercially available US system coupled to an NIR imager. Contrast-enhanced MRI was performed before treatment and surgery. Tumor vascular content was assessed based on total hemoglobin concentration and volume obtained from NIR data. A percentage blood volume index (%BVI) was calculated as the percentage ratio of the product of total hemoglobin concentration and volume normalized to pretreatment values. At treatment completion, pathologic assessment revealed three response groups: complete or near-complete responders (A), partial responders (B), and nonresponders (C). The mean %BVIs of groups A, B, and C at the treatment completion were 29.1 +/- 6.9%, 46.3 +/- 3.7%, and 86.8 +/- 30.1%, respectively (differences statistically significant, P < .04). At the end of cycle 2, the %BVI of group A was noticeably lower than that of the partial (P = .091) and nonresponder groups (P = .075). Both NIR/US and MRI were equally effective in distinguishing different response groups in this pilot study. Our initial findings indicate that NIR/US using %BVI can be used during chemotherapy to repeatedly monitor tumor vascular changes. NIR/US also may evaluate pathologic response during treatment allowing for tailoring therapies to response.

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