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Image Registration for Quantitative Parametric Response Mapping of Cancer Treatment Response

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Imaging biomarkers capable of early quantification of tumor response to therapy would provide an opportunity to individualize patient care. Image registration of longitudinal scans provides a method of detecting treatment associated changes within heterogeneous tumors by monitoring alterations in the quantitative value of individual voxels over time, which is unattainable by traditional volumetric-based histogram methods. The concepts involved in the use of image registration for tracking and quantifying breast cancer treatment response using parametric response mapping (PRM), a voxel-based analysis of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) scans, are presented. Application of PRM to breast tumor response detection is described, wherein robust registration solutions for tracking small changes in water diffusivity in breast tumors during therapy are required. Methodologies that employ simulations are presented for measuring expected statistical accuracy of PRM for response assessment. Test-retest clinical scans are used to yield estimates of system noise to indicate significant changes in voxel-based changes in water diffusivity. Overall, registration-based PRM image analysis provides significant opportunities for voxel-based image analysis to provide the required accuracy for early assessment of response to treatment in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

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