Use of Ultrasound Imaging and Spectroscopy as Early Indicators of Locally- Advanced Breast Cancer Response to Neoadjuvant Treatment

Official Title

Pilot Investigation of Ultrasound Imaging and Spectroscopy as Early Indicators of Locally- Advanced Breast Cancer Response to Neoadjuvant Treatment


This work explores the possibility of using ultrasound imaging and spectroscopy as a way of monitoring cell death, hence, tumour response to treatment. The hypothesis here is that it can be used as a way of monitoring early response to cancer treatment and predicting which patients continue on in their therapy to have a complete pathological response as a primary endpoint and tumour size decrease as a secondary endpoint. If this work is successful it could be used in the future early on in a cancer patient's treatment to predict whether or not a course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy is going to be successful. For example, in patients in which the analysis indicates a poor response the chemotherapy regimen could be changed to a more efficacious one or for those receiving radiation therapy predicted to have a poor response a radiosensitizing agent could be used to improve outcome.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Measuring the rate of treatment response between the treatment groups
Secondary Outcome:
  • Inter-user variability comparison
The primary objective in this study is to identify optimal ultrasound spectroscopy parameters that can be used as an early predictor of pathological complete or partial response in women with locally advanced breast cancer receiving treatment with chemotherapy or combined modality chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A secondary objective is to perform an inter-user variability comparison by comparing second site data analysis outcomes with central co-coordinating site data analysis. The overarching goal of this research is to transform the delivery of neoadjuvant chemotherapy using quantitative ultrasound, which is non-invasive, inexpensive and portable to assess breast cancer therapies through functional imaging, in which tumour cell death is detected. By detecting cell death early in a treatment on the order of hours to days, rather than traditional anatomical assessments that take place weeks to months after the completion of therapy, ineffective therapies could be switched to more efficacious treatments or aggressive salvage therapy which has shown to already benefit patients. This has the potential of improving survival in addition to sparing patients unnecessary side effects of treatments that may span weeks to months. The investigators will use these quantitative methods to evaluate treatments with neoadjuvant chemotherapy in women with locally advanced breast cancer. This investigation will track the spatio-temporal changes in quantitative ultrasound surrogates of treatment response during neoadjuvant chemotherapy of locally advanced breast cancer and use these parameters to adapt clinical treatment. The study specifically will expand on single- institution research underway and involve a second clinical site. Data will be independently collected and analysis carried out at that site and at the co-ordinating site for comparison evaluating technology-use feasibility and reproducibility of results.

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