Current Landscape of Breast Cancer Imaging and Potential Quantitative Imaging Markers of Response in ER-Positive Breast Cancers Treated with Neoadjuvant Therapy

Jones EF, Hathi DK, Freimanis R, Mukhtar RA, Chien AJ, Esserman LJ, Veer LJ van’t, Joe BN, Hylton NM

In recent years, neoadjuvant treatment trials have shown that breast cancer subtypes identified on the basis of genomic and/or molecular signatures exhibit different response rates and recurrence outcomes, with the implication that subtype-specific treatment approaches are needed. Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers present a unique set of challenges for determining optimal neoadjuvant treatment approaches. There is increased recognition that not all ER+ breast cancers benefit from chemotherapy, and that there may be a subset of ER+ breast cancers that can be treated effectively using endocrine therapies alone. With this uncertainty, there is a need to improve the assessment and to optimize the treatment of ER+ breast cancers. While pathology-based markers offer a snapshot of tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy, non-invasive imaging of the ER disease in response to treatment would provide broader insights into tumor heterogeneity, ER biology, and the timing of surrogate endpoint measurements. In this review, we provide an overview of the current landscape of breast imaging in neoadjuvant studies and highlight the technological advances in each imaging modality. We then further examine some potential imaging markers for neoadjuvant treatment response in ER+ breast cancers.

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