Predicting neo-adjuvant chemotherapy response and progression-free survival of locally advanced breast cancer using textural features of intratumoral heterogeneity on F-18 FDG PET/CT and diffusion-weighted MR imaging

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Predicting response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and survival in locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) is important. This study investigated the prognostic value of tumor heterogeneity evaluated with textural analysis through F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). We enrolled 83 patients with LABC who had completed NAC and curative surgery. Tumor texture indices from pretreatment FDG PET and DWI were extracted from histogram analysis and 7 different parent matrices: co-occurrence matrix, the voxel-alignment matrix, neighborhood intensity difference matrix, intensity size-zone matrix (ISZM), normalized gray-level co-occurrence matrix (NGLCM), neighboring gray-level dependence matrix (NGLDM), and texture spectrum matrix. The predictive values of textural features were tested regarding both pathologic NAC response and progression-free survival. Among 83 patients, 46 were pathologic responders, while 37 were nonresponders. The PET texture indices from 7 parent matrices, DWI texture indices from histogram, and 1 parent matrix (NGLCM) showed significant differences according to NAC response. On multivariable analysis, number nonuniformity of PET extracted from the NGLDM was an independent predictor of pathologic response (P = .009). During a median follow-up period of 17.3 months, 14 patients experienced recurrence. High-intensity zone emphasis (HIZE) and high-intensity short-zone emphasis (HISZE) from PET extracted from ISZM were significant textural predictors (P = .011 and P = .033). On Cox regression analysis, only HIZE was a significant predictor of recurrence (P = .027), while HISZE showed borderline significance (P = .107). Tumor texture indices are useful for NAC response prediction in LABC. Moreover, PET texture indices can help to predict disease recurrence.

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