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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 348167, 14 pages
Review Article

Clinical Application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Management of Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

1Center for Functional Onco-Imaging, Department of Radiological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-5020, USA
2Department of Radiology, E-Da Hospital and I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 82445, Taiwan

Received 5 January 2013; Accepted 17 May 2013

Academic Editor: David J. Yang

Copyright © 2013 Jeon-Hor Chen and Min-Ying Su. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), also termed primary, induction, or preoperative chemotherapy, is traditionally used to downstage inoperable breast cancer. In recent years it has been increasingly used for patients who have operable cancers in order to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, achieve better cosmetic outcome, and improve prognosis by reaching pathologic complete response (pCR). Many studies have demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can assess residual tumor size after NAC, and that provides critical information for planning of the optimal surgery. NAC also allows for timely adjustment of administered drugs based on response, so ineffective regimens could be terminated early to spare patients from unnecessary toxicity while allowing other effective regimens to work sooner. This review article summarizes the clinical application of MRI during NAC. The use of different MR imaging methods, including dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, proton MR spectroscopy, and diffusion-weighted MRI, to monitor and evaluate the NAC response, as well as how changes of parameters measured at an early time after initiation of a drug regimen can predict final treatment outcome, are reviewed. MRI has been proven a valuable tool and will continue to provide important information facilitating individualized image-guided treatment and personalized management for breast cancer patients undergoing NAC.