Computer-aided breast MR image feature analysis for prediction of tumor response to chemotherapy

Faranak Aghaei, Maxine Tan, Alan B. Hollingsworth, Wei Qian, Hong Liu, Bin Zheng

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To identify a new clinical marker based on quantitative kinetic image features analysis and assess its feasibility to predict tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: The authors assembled a dataset involving breast MR images acquired from 68 cancer patients before undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Among them, 25 patients had complete response (CR) and 43 had partial and nonresponse (NR) to chemotherapy based on the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors. The authors developed a computer-aided detection scheme to segment breast areas and tumors depicted on the breast MR images and computed a total of 39 kinetic image features from both tumor and background parenchymal enhancement regions. The authors then applied and tested two approaches to classify between CR and NR cases. The first one analyzed each individual feature and applied a simple feature fusion method that combines classification results from multiple features. The second approach tested an attribute selected classifier that integrates an artificial neural network (ANN) with a wrapper subset evaluator, which was optimized using a leave-one-case-out validation method. Results: In the pool of 39 features, 10 yielded relatively higher classification performance with theareas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) ranging from 0.61 to 0.78 to classify between CR and NR cases. Using a feature fusion method, the maximum AUC= 0.85±0.05. Using the ANN-based classifier, AUC value significantly increased to 0.96-0.03 (p < 0.01). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that quantitative analysis of kinetic image features computed from breastMRimages acquired prechemotherapy has potential to generate a useful clinical marker in predicting tumor response to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6520-6528
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment of breast cancer prognosis
  • dynamic contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging
  • quantitative image feature analysis
  • tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy

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