Assessing response to neo-adjuvant therapy in locally advanced rectal cancer using Intra-voxel Incoherent Motion modelling by DWI data and Standardized Index of Shape from DCE-MRI

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Background: Our aim was to investigate preoperative chemoradiation therapy (pCRT) response in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) comparing standardized index of shape (SIS) obtained from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) with intravoxel-incoherent-motion-modelling-derived parameters by diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). Materials and methods: Eighty-eight patients with LARC were subjected to MRI before and after pCRT. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), tissue diffusion (Dt), pseudodiffusion (Dp) and perfusion fraction (f) were calculated and percentage changes ∆ADC, ∆Dt, ∆Dp, ∆f were computed. SIS was derived comparing DCE-MRI pre- and post-pCRT. Nonparametric tests and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were performed. Results: A total of 52 patients were classified as responders (tumour regression grade; TRG ⩽ 2) and 36 as not-responders (TRG > 3). Mann–Whitney U test showed statistically significant differences in SIS, ∆ADC and ∆Dt between responders and not-responders and between complete responders (19 patients with TRG = 1) versus incomplete responders. The best parameters to discriminate responders by nonresponders were SIS and ∆ADC, with an accuracy of 91% and 82% (cutoffs of −5.2% and 18.7%, respectively); the best parameters to detect pathological complete responders were SIS, ∆f and ∆Dp with an accuracy of 78% (cutoffs of 38.5%, 60.0% and 83.0%, respectively). No increase of performance was observed by combining linearly each possible couple of parameters or combining all parameters. Conclusion: SIS allows assessment of preoperative treatment response with high accuracy guiding the surgeon versus more or less conservative treatment. DWI-derived parameters reached less accuracy compared with SIS and combining linearly DCE- and DWI-derived parameters; no increase of accuracy was obtained.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • assessment response
  • diffusion parameters change
  • LARC
  • neoadjuvant therapy
  • SIS change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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