Purpose: To determine if changes in the concentration of choline-containing compounds (tCho) from before primary systemic therapy (PST) to within 24 hours after the first treatment enable prediction of clinical response in patients with locally advanced breast cancer.
Materials and methods: Sixteen women with biopsy-confirmed locally advanced breast cancer scheduled to undergo doxorubicin-based PST were recruited. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy were performed at 4 T prior to treatment, within 24 hours after the first dose, and after the fourth dose. Lesion size was assessed by using gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging. Lesion tCho concentration was quantified by using single-voxel hydrogen 1 MR spectroscopy. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Pearson correlation coefficient and the Wilcoxon rank sum test.
Results: Fourteen of 16 patients completed the protocol. In one patient, the level of tCho was not measurable because of unfavorable lesion morphology for MR spectroscopy voxel placement. Of the remaining 13 patients, four had inflammatory breast cancer, six had invasive ductal carcinoma, two had invasive lobular carcinoma, and one had mixed invasive ductal and lobular carcinoma. On the basis of the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, eight of 13 patients had an objective response and five had no response. The change in concentration of tCho from baseline to within 24 hours after the first dose of PST showed significant positive correlation with the change in lesion size (R = 0.79, P = .001). Change in tCho concentration within 24 hours after first dose was significantly different between patients with objective response and those with no response (P = .007).
Conclusion: These results suggest that the change in tCho concentration between baseline and 24 hours after the first dose of PST can serve as an indicator for predicting clinical response to doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer.