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Magn Reson Med. 2014 Apr;71(4):1592-602. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24782. Epub 2013 May 9.

DCE-MRI analysis methods for predicting the response of breast cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy: pilot study findings.

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Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.



The purpose of this pilot study is to determine (1) if early changes in both semiquantitative and quantitative DCE-MRI parameters, observed after the first cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients, show significant difference between responders and nonresponders and (2) if these parameters can be used as a prognostic indicator of the eventual response.


Twenty-eight patients were examined using DCE-MRI pre-, post-one cycle, and just prior to surgery. The semiquantitative parameters included longest dimension, tumor volume, initial area under the curve, and signal enhancement ratio related parameters, while quantitative parameters included K(trans), v(e), k(ep), v(p), and τ(i) estimated using the standard Tofts-Kety, extended Tofts-Kety, and fast exchange regime models.


Our preliminary results indicated that the signal enhancement ratio washout volume and k(ep) were significantly different between pathologic complete responders from nonresponders (P < 0.05) after a single cycle of chemotherapy. Receiver operator characteristic analysis showed that the AUC of the signal enhancement ratio washout volume was 0.75, and the AUCs of k(ep) estimated by three models were 0.78, 0.76, and 0.73, respectively.


In summary, the signal enhancement ratio washout volume and k(ep) appear to predict breast cancer response after one cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This observation should be confirmed with additional prospective studies.


DCE-MRI; breast cancer; neoadjuvant therapy; treatment response

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