Evaluation of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response with Dynamic Contrast Enhanced Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Locally Advanced Invasive Breast Cancer

J Breast Health. 2014 Apr 1;10(2):111-118. doi: 10.5152/tjbh.2014.2035. eCollection 2014 Apr.


Objective: The reliability of traditional methods such as physical examination, ultrasonography (US) and mammography is limited in determining the type of treatment response in patients with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) application for locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is gaining popularity in the evaluation of NAC response. This study aimed to compare NAC response as determined by dynamic contrast-enhanced breast MRI in patients with LABC to histopathology that is the gold standard; and evaluate the compatibility of MRI, mammography and US with response types.

Materials and methods: The US, mammography and MRI findings of 38 patients who received NAC with a diagnosis of locally advanced breast cancer and surgical treatment were retrospectively analyzed and compared to histopathology results. Type of response to treatment was determined according to the "Criteria in Solid Tumors Response Evolution 1.1" by mammography, US and MRI criteria. The relationship between response types as defined by all three imaging modalities and histopathology were evaluated, and the correlation of response type as detected by MRI and pathological response and histopathological type of breast cancer was further determined. For statistical analysis, the chi-square, paired t test, correlation and kappa tests were used.

Results: There is a statistical moderate positive correlation between response type according to pathology and MRI (kappa: 0.63). There was a weak correlation between response type according to mammography or US and according to pathology (kappa: 0.2). When the distribution of treatment response by MRI is stratified according to histopathological types, partial response was higher in all histopathological types similar to the type of pathologic response. When compared with pathology MRI detected treatment response accurately in 84.2% of the patients.

Conclusion: Dynamic contrast-enhanced breast MRI appears to be a more effective method than mammography or US in the evaluation of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. MRI evaluation of LABC is accepted as the appropriate radiological approach.

Keywords: Cancer; MRI; breast; chemotherapy; neoadjuvant; response.