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Br J Cancer. 2001 April; 84(8): 1016–1022.
PMCID: PMC2363867

Evaluation of total choline from in-vivo volume localized proton MR spectroscopy and its response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer


Results of the proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy carried out on normal, benign breast disease and locally advanced breast cancer patients are presented. The in-vivo MR spectra of malignant breast tissue of patients (n = 67) suffering from infiltrating ductal carcinoma are dominated by the water resonance, while the spectra of the unaffected contralateral breast tissue of these patients are mainly dominated by resonance arising from lipids which is similar to the spectra of normal breast tissue obtained from volunteers (controls, n = 16). In addition to the water and lipid peaks, in majority of the patients (~80%) the water suppressed spectra showed a resonance at 3.2 ppm due to choline containing compounds (TCho) before treatment. In patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, absence/reduction in choline was observed in 89% of the patients. TCho was also observed in 2 of 14 benign lesions. The sensitivity and specificity of in-vivo MRS in detecting TCho in malignant tumours was 78% and 86%, respectively. Observation of TCho before treatment and its disappearance (or reduction) after treatment may be a useful indicator of response of locally advanced breast cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign

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