Doppler Ultrasound Scoring to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response in Advanced Breast Cancer

June 14, 2011

Doppler ultrasonography (US) is increasingly being utilized as an imaging modality in breast cancer. It is used to study the vascular characteristics of the tumor.

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2007
An Open Access research article from BMC
Published 28 August 2007

Technical innovations
Abstract (provisional)

Background
Doppler ultrasonography (US) is increasingly being utilized as an imaging modality in breast cancer. It is used to study the vascular characteristics of the tumor. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard modality of treatment in locally advanced breast cancer. Histological examination remains the gold standard to assess the chemotherapy response. However, based on the color Doppler findings, a new scoring system that could predict histological response following chemotherapy is proposed.

Methods
Fifty cases of locally advanced infiltrating duct carcinoma of the breast were studied. The mean age of the patients was 44.5 years. All patients underwent clinical, Doppler and histopathological assessment followed by three cycles of CAF (Cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin and 5-Fluorouracil) chemotherapy, repeat clinical and Doppler examination and surgery. The resected specimens were examined histopathologically and histological response was correlated with Doppler findings. The Doppler characteristics of the tumor were graded as 1-4 for <25%, 25-50%, >50% and complete disappearance of flow signals respectively. A cumulative score was calculated and compared with histopathological response. Results were analyzed using Chi square test, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values.

Results
The maximum Doppler score according to the proposed scoring system was twelve and minimum three. Higher scores corresponded with a more favorable histopathological response. Twenty four patients had complete response to chemotherapy. Sixteen of these 24 patients (66.7%) had a cumulative Doppler score more than nine. The sensitivity of cumulative score >5 was 91.7% and specificity was 38.5%. The area under the ROC curve of the cumulative score >9 was 0.72.

Conclusions
Doppler scoring can be accurately used to objectively predict the response to chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced breast cancer and it correlates well with histopathological response.

References:

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2007, 5:99 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-5-99