Original Investigation| Volume 29, SUPPLEMENT 1, S145-S154, January 2022

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MRI Radiomics for Assessment of Molecular Subtype, Pathological Complete Response, and Residual Cancer Burden in Breast Cancer Patients Treated With Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Published:November 04, 2020DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      There are limited data on pretreatment imaging features that can predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). To extract volumetric pretreatment MRI radiomics features and assess corresponding associations with breast cancer molecular subtypes, pathological complete response (pCR), and residual cancer burden (RCB) in patients treated with NAC.

      Materials and Methods

      In this IRB-approved study, clinical and pretreatment MRI data from patients with biopsy-proven breast cancer who received NAC between September 2009 and July 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Tumors were manually identified and semi-automatically segmented on first postcontrast images. Morphological and three-dimensional textural features were computed, including unfiltered and filtered image data, with spatial scaling factors (SSF) of 2, 4, and 6 mm. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were used for statistical analysis.


      Two hundred and fifty nine patients with unilateral breast cancer, including 73 (28.2%) HER2+, 112 (43.2%) luminal, and 74 (28.6%) triple negative breast cancers (TNBC), were included. There was a significant difference in the median volume (p = 0.008), median longest axial tumor diameter (p = 0.009), and median longest volumetric diameter (p = 0.01) among tumor subtypes. There was also a significant difference in minimum signal intensity and entropy among the tumor subtypes with SSF = 4 mm (p = 0.009 and p = 0.02 respectively) and SSF = 6 mm (p = 0.007 and p < 0.001 respectively). Additionally, sphericity (p = 0.04) in HER2+ tumors and entropy with SSF = 2, 4, 6 mm (p = 0.004, 0.02, 0.047 respectively) in luminal tumors were significantly associated with pCR. Multiple features demonstrated significant association (p < 0.05) with pCR in TNBC and with RCB in luminal tumors and TNBC, with standard deviation of intensity with SSF = 6 mm achieving the highest AUC (AUC = 0.734) for pCR in TNBC.


      MRI radiomics features are associated with different molecular subtypes of breast cancer, pCR, and RCB. These features may be noninvasive imaging biomarkers to identify cancer subtype and predict response to NAC.

      Key Words


      MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), NAC (Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy), HER2+ (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 Positive), TNBC (Triple Negative Breast Cancer), ER+ (Estrogen Receptor Positive), SSF (Spatial Scaling Factor), pCR (Pathological Complete Response), RCB (Residual Cancer Burden), AUC (Area Under the Curve), ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic)
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