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Published April 7, 2021 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Photoacoustic Computed Tomography of Breast Cancer in Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) has contributed to improving breast cancer outcomes, and it would ideally reduce the need for definitive breast surgery in patients who have no residual cancer after NAC treatment. However, there is no reliable noninvasive imaging modality accepted as the routine method to assess response to NAC. Because of the inability to detect complete response, post‐NAC surgery remains the standard of care. To overcome this limitation, a single‐breath‐hold photoacoustic computed tomography (SBH‐PACT) system is developed to provide contrast similar to that of contrast‐enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, but with much higher spatial and temporal resolution and without injection of contrast chemicals. SBH‐PACT images breast cancer patients at three time points: before, during, and after NAC. The analysis of tumor size, blood vascular density, and irregularity in the distribution and morphology of the blood vessels on SBH‐PACT accurately identifies response to NAC as confirmed by the histopathological diagnosis. SBH‐PACT shows its near‐term potential as a diagnostic tool for assessing breast cancer response to systemic treatment by noninvasively measuring the changes in cancer‐associated angiogenesis. Further development of SBH‐PACT may also enable serial imaging, rather than the use of current invasive biopsies, to diagnose and follow indeterminate breast lesions.

Additional Information

© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley‐VCH GmbH. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 07 April 2021; Version of Record online: 23 February 2021; Manuscript revised: 01 December 2020; Manuscript received: 04 September 2020. L.L. and X.T. contributed equally to this work. The authors thank David Garrett for carefully reading the manuscript. This work was sponsored by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award) and Caltech‐City of Hope Biomedical Initiative. The human studies were approved by both Institutional Review Boards at California Institute of Technology and City of Hope National Medical Center. L.V.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc., CalPACT, LLC, and Union Photoacoustic Technologies, Ltd., which, however, did not support this work.

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Published - advs.202003396.pdf

Supplemental Material - advs2329-sup-0001-suppmat.pdf


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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023