Quantitative ultrasonography as a tool for the evaluation of breast tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Hanna Piotrzkowska-Wróblewska1, Katarzyna Dobruch-Sobczak2, Jerzy Litniewski1
1 Department of Ultrasound, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
2 Radiology Department II, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence: Hanna Piotrzkowska-Wróblewska, Department of Ultrasound, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawinskiego 5B, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is increasingly becoming the first treatment step in breast cancer. Despite the enormous advantages of this therapy, it is a method characterized by a high level of toxicity and thus carries a huge burden for the patient. Therefore, it is highly desirable to begin monitoring the patient’s response to treatment at an earlier stage. Currently, apart from traditional imaging methods, a completely new technique (in the context of monitoring the outcomes of chemotherapy), called quantitative ultrasound, is gaining popularity. It is a method based on the exact same ultrasound echoes as in traditional ultrasound imaging. The innovative approach of the method is that these echoes are not used for visualization but to characterize the condition of the tissue by parameterizing it with the aid of ultrasound biomarkers. The biomarkers make it possible to assess the state of the tissue at the microscopic level, and thus evaluate changes occurring in the tissue under the influence of treatment at a very early treatment stage. The present paper aims to familiarize the reader with the physical foundations of this method as well as present the latest results of related research.