Magnetic Resonance Elastography in Breast Cancer

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Provided by Applicant): Mortality from breast cancer is
stage-dependent and thus, early detection is vital if we are to make progress
addressing the burden of this disease. Imaging methods such as mammography have
made a ma contribution in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. Yet is clear
that the standard imaging techniques have significant limitations in detecting
the earliest changes of breast cancer and in distinguishing benign condition
from important premalignant and malignant disease.

Based on the remarkable efficacy of simple palpation as a clinical tool for
detecting cancer in accessible parts of the body, it has long been recognized
that a sensitive, imaging-based method, capable of assessing viscoelastjc
properties of tissue, might offer considerable potential for discriminating
malignant from benign tissues. The goal of this research is to develop a
practical noninvasive MRJ-based method for quantitatively evaluating the
mechanical properties of breast tissues. We call this technique magnetic
resonance elastography (MRE). Preliminary development of MRE in our laboratory
has demonstrated the feasibility of quantitatively imaging the large
differences in the elastic properties of normal and cancerous breast tissues in

The specific aims of this proposal are (1) to further develop the MR
elastography technology for pre imaging and (2) to assess the potential of this
new imaging technique to differentiate breast malignancies fr non-malignant

The MRE technique is implemented on a standard MRI scanner. Therefore it is
readily combined in the same examination with standard contrast-enhanced MRI
protocols for breast cancer imaging. This research-will provide the first
substantial body of quantitative, spatially-resolved data describing the
viscoelastic properties of benign and malignant breast tissues in vivo. The
planned technical development work and pilot studies will provide critical
prerequisites for determining the advisability and most efficient design of a
future clinical trial to test the value of MRE for distinguishing benign from
malignant breast masses.
StatusNot started


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