Conventional frequency evaluation of tumor cell death response in locally advanced breast cancer patients to chemotherapy treatment administration.
ABSTRACT The aim of many cancer therapies is to induce cell death within a target tumor. A substantial body of research using in vitro and in vivo models has demonstrated that cell death can be detected via quantitative ultrasound techniques. This study investigates for the first time the potential to quantify tumor responses to therapy in patients, using spectral and signal envelope statistics analysis of ultrasound data. A clinical study was undertaken investigating the efficacy of ultrasound to quantify cell death in tumor responses with cancer treatment. Patients (n=20) with locally advanced breast cancer received anthracyline and taxane-based chemotherapy treatments. Data collection consisted of acquiring tumor images and radiofrequency data prior to treatment onset and at 4 times during treatment (weeks 1, 4, and 8, and preoperatively). Data indicate increases of approximately 9 dBr (±1.67) in ultrasound backscatter in patients who responded to treatment. Patients assessed as responding poorly demonstrated significantly lower increases (2.3 ± 1.7 dBr). Increases in 0-MHz intercept followed similar trends, while increases in spectral slope were observed from tumor regions demonstrating increases in tissue echogenicity. This study demonstrates the potential of ultrasound to quantify changes in tumors in response to cancer treatment administration in a clinical setting.