Purpose: To determine if amide proton transfer–weighted chemical exchange saturation transfer (APTW CEST) MRI is useful in the early assessment of treatment response in persons with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Materials and Methods: In this prospective study, a total of 51 participants (mean age, 51 years [range, 26–79 years]) with TNBC were included who underwent APTW CEST MRI with 0.9-and 2.0-µT saturation power performed at baseline, after two cycles (C2), and after four cycles (C4) of neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NAST). Imaging was performed between January 31, 2019, and November 11, 2019, and was a part of a clinical trial (registry number NCT02744053). CEST MR images were analyzed using two methods— magnetic transfer ratio asymmetry (MTRasym) and Lorentzian line shape fitting. The APTW CEST signals at baseline, C2, and C4 were compared for 51 participants to evaluate the saturation power levels and analysis methods. The APTW CEST signals and their changes during NAST were then compared for the 26 participants with pathology reports for treatment response assessment. Results: A significant APTW CEST signal decrease was observed during NAST when acquisition at 0.9-µT saturation power was paired with Lorentzian line shape fitting analysis and when the acquisition at 2.0 µT was paired with MTRasym analysis. Using 0.9-µT saturation power and Lorentzian line shape fitting, the APTW CEST signal at C2 was significantly different from baseline in participants with pathologic complete response (pCR) (3.19% vs 2.43%; P =.03) but not with non-pCR (2.76% vs 2.50%; P>.05). The APTW CEST signal change was not significant between pCR and non-pCR at all time points. Conclusion: Quantitative APTW CEST MRI depended on optimizing acquisition saturation powers and analysis methods. APTW CEST MRI monitored treatment effects but did not differentiate participants with TNBC who had pCR from those with non-pCR.
- Molecular Imaging-Cancer
- Molecular Imaging-Clinical Translation
- Technical Aspects
- Technol-ogy Assessment
- Tumor Response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging