Clinical application of magnetic resonance imaging in management of breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:348167. doi: 10.1155/2013/348167. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Abstract

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), also termed primary, induction, or preoperative chemotherapy, is traditionally used to downstage inoperable breast cancer. In recent years it has been increasingly used for patients who have operable cancers in order to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, achieve better cosmetic outcome, and improve prognosis by reaching pathologic complete response (pCR). Many studies have demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can assess residual tumor size after NAC, and that provides critical information for planning of the optimal surgery. NAC also allows for timely adjustment of administered drugs based on response, so ineffective regimens could be terminated early to spare patients from unnecessary toxicity while allowing other effective regimens to work sooner. This review article summarizes the clinical application of MRI during NAC. The use of different MR imaging methods, including dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, proton MR spectroscopy, and diffusion-weighted MRI, to monitor and evaluate the NAC response, as well as how changes of parameters measured at an early time after initiation of a drug regimen can predict final treatment outcome, are reviewed. MRI has been proven a valuable tool and will continue to provide important information facilitating individualized image-guided treatment and personalized management for breast cancer patients undergoing NAC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Neoplasm, Residual / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm, Residual / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents