Defining an optimal role for breast magnetic resonance imaging when evaluating patients otherwise eligible for accelerated partial breast irradiation

Kathleen C Horst, Katherine E Fero, Debra M Ikeda, Bruce L Daniel, Frederick M Dirbas
Radiotherapy and Oncology 2013, 108 (2): 220-5

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pre-treatment breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in a cohort of women prospectively evaluated for accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) are reviewed and characterized to determine the optimal use of MRI in these patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Candidates initially deemed eligible for a prospective APBI trial based on physical examination, mammography, and ultrasound (US) were further evaluated with breast MRI before treatment. All abnormal MRI findings were biopsied.

RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2011, 180 women who met inclusion criteria for APBI underwent breast MRI prior to treatment (median age=59; range 38-86). 126 tumors (70%) were invasive carcinomas with or without associated DCIS, while 54 (30%) were pure DCIS. Breast MRI confirmed unifocal disease in 109 patients with 111 cancers (60.5% of MRI cohort). Multifocal disease was identified in 19 patients (10.5% of MRI cohort), while multicentric disease was present in 3 patients (1.6% of MRI cohort). Five patients (4%) had an MRI-detected contralateral cancer. False positive MRI findings were seen in 45 patients (25% of MRI cohort). Pre-menopausal patients and patients with tumors >2 cm were more likely to have MRI-detected multifocal/multicentric disease. While there was no statistically significant correlation between multifocal/multicentric disease and breast density, tumor histology, grade, ER status, or Her2/Neu expression, numbers in each category were small, suggesting a lack of statistical power to detect differences that may be clinically meaningful. One hundred and fifty-two of the 180 patients (84.4%) successfully completed lumpectomy and APBI, while 6.7% of the cohort underwent mastectomy.

CONCLUSIONS: Breast MRI identified additional disease in 12% of APBI candidates. Premenopausal women and patients with tumors >2 cm were more likely to have MRI-detected multifocal/multicentric disease.

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