Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Functional Tumor Volume by MR Imaging Predicts Recurrence-free Survival—Results from the ACRIN 6657/CALGB 150007 I-SPY 1 TRIAL

Results of this study show that MR imaging measurements of breast tumor volume by using a standardized method are effective for prediction of recurrence-free survival as early as one cycle of treatment.


To evaluate volumetric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for predicting recurrence-free survival (RFS) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) of breast cancer and to consider its predictive performance relative to pathologic complete response (PCR).

Materials and Methods

This HIPAA-compliant prospective multicenter study was approved by institutional review boards with written informed consent. Women with breast tumors 3 cm or larger scheduled for NACT underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging before treatment (examination 1), after one cycle (examination 2), midtherapy (examination 3), and before surgery (examination 4). Functional tumor volume (FTV), computed from MR images by using enhancement thresholds, and change from baseline (ΔFTV) were measured after one cycle and before surgery. Association of RFS with FTV was assessed by Cox regression and compared with association of RFS with PCR and residual cancer burden (RCB), while controlling for age, race, and hormone receptor (HR)/ human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) status. Predictive performance of models was evaluated by C statistics.


Female patients (n = 162) with FTV and RFS were included. At univariate analysis, FTV2, FTV4, and ΔFTV4 had significant association with RFS, as did HR/HER2 status and RCB class. PCR approached significance at univariate analysis and was not significant at multivariate analysis. At univariate analysis, FTV2 and RCB class had the strongest predictive performance (C statistic = 0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.58, 0.76), greater than for FTV4 (0.64; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.74) and PCR (0.57; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.74). At multivariate analysis, a model with FTV2, ΔFTV2, RCB class, HR/HER2 status, age, and race had the highest C statistic (0.72; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.84).


Breast tumor FTV measured by MR imaging is a strong predictor of RFS, even in the presence of PCR and RCB class. Models combining MR imaging, histopathology, and breast cancer subtype demonstrated the strongest predictive performance in this study.

© RSNA, 2015

Online supplemental material is available for this article.


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Article History

Received January 20, 2015; revision requested March 10; revision received July 26; accepted August 19; final version accepted September 8.
Published online: Dec 01 2015
Published in print: Apr 2016