Quantitative Assessment of Heterogeneity in Bladder Tumor MRI Diffusivity: Can Response be Predicted Prior to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy?

Nguyen HT, Mortazavi A, Pohar KS, Zynger DL, Wei L, Shah ZK, Jia G, Knopp MV
Bladder Cancer 3 237-244 10/27/2017


Background: It is a critical unmet need to predict chemosensitivity in muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients who receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Quantification of tumor heterogeneity has been shown to be useful in the assessment of therapeutic response. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) is derived from diffusion weighted MRI (DWI) to quantify the water diffusivity which characterizes micro-cellularity in tumor tissues.

Objective: The aim of this study is to assess if a quantitative measurement of ADC heterogeneity in bladder tumors can be a predictor of therapeutic response to NAC.

Materials and Methods: Twenty patients with pT2 bladder cancer have been included in this study. Patient MRI was performed on a 3T system with DWI prior to NAC. Regions of interest (ROIs) were placed over the whole tumor volume on ADC maps to acquire a data matrix of voxel-wise ADC values for each patient. We performed histogram analysis on each ADC data matrix to calculate uniformity (U) and entropy (E). These quantities were subsequently correlated with the patient's response to chemotherapy. Statistical significance was found with

Results: Fifteen patients were categorized as responders, and five as non-responders. The data showed that tumors of responders were significantly higher in U (

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the quantitative readout of tumor heterogeneity in micro-cellularity is associated with the patient's defined response to chemotherapy. Quantification of tumor ADC heterogeneity may provide useful information to enable the prediction of chemotherapeutic response prior to the treatment to improve patient outcomes.

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