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Background Parenchymal Enhancement of the Contralateral Normal Breast: Association with Tumor Response in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.



This study investigated the association between background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) and pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).


A total of 46 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer were analyzed. Each patient had three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, one pre-treatment and two follow-up (F/U) MRI studies. BPE was measured as the averaged enhancement of the whole fibroglandular tissues. The pre-treatment BPE and the changes in the F/U MRI were compared between patients achieving pathologic complete response (pCR) versus those not. Subgroup analyses based on age, estrogen receptor (ER), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status of their cancers were also performed.


The pre-treatment BPE was higher in the pCR group than that in the non-pCR group. Compared to baseline, BPE at F/U-1 was significantly decreased in the pCR group but not in the non-pCR group. In subgroup analysis based on age, these results were seen only in the younger group (<55 years old), not in the older group (≥55 years old). Older patients had a significantly lower pre-treatment BPE than younger patients. In analysis based on molecular biomarkers, a significantly decreased BPE at F/U-1 was only found in the ER-negative pCR group but not in the non-pCR, nor in the ER-positive groups.


A higher pre-treatment BPE showing a significant decrease early after starting NAC was related to pCR in pre/peri-menopausal patients.

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