Synchronous Breast Cancer: Phenotypic Similarities on MRI

Wang, Hui, van der Velden, Bas H M, Chan, Hui Shan M, Loo, Claudette E, Viergever, Max A, Gilhuijs, Kenneth G A


Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 51 (6), p. 1858-1867


Background: Previous studies have shown discrepancies between index and synchronous breast cancer in histology and molecular phenotype. It is yet unknown whether this observation also applies to the MRI phenotype. Purpose: To investigate whether the appearance of breast cancer on MRI (i.e. phenotype) is different from that of additional breast cancer (i.e. synchronous cancer), and whether such a difference, if it exists, is associated with prognosis. Study Type: Retrospective. Population: In all, 464 consecutive patients with early-stage ER+/HER2– breast cancer were included; 34/464 (7.3%) had 44 synchronous cancers in total (34 ipsilateral, 10 contralateral). Sequence: 1.5T, contrast-enhanced T 1-weighted. Assessment: We assessed imaging phenotype using 50 quantitative features from each cancer and applied principal component analysis (PCA) to identify independent properties. The degree of phenotype difference was assessed. An association between phenotype differences and prognosis in terms of the Nottingham Prognostic Index (NPI) and PREDICT score were analyzed. Statistical Tests: PCA; Wilcoxon rank sum test; Benjamini–Hochberg to control the false discovery rate. Results: PCA identified eight components in patients with ipsilateral synchronous cancer. Six out of eight were significantly different between index and synchronous cancer. These components represented features describing texture (three components, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, P = 0.004), size (P < 0.001), smoothness (P < 0.001), and kinetics (P = 0.004). Phenotype differences in terms of the six components were split in tertiles. Larger phenotype differences in size, kinetics, and texture were associated with significantly worse prognosis in terms of NPI (P = 0.019, P = 0.045, P = 0.014), but not for the PREDICT score (P = 0.109, P = 0.479, P = 0.109). PCA identified six components in patients with contralateral synchronous cancer. None were significantly different from the index cancer (P = 0.178, P = 0.178, P = 0.178, P = 0.326, P = 0.739, P = 0.423). Data Conclusion: The MRI phenotype of ER+/HER2– breast cancer was different from that of ipsilateral synchronous cancer and a large phenotype difference was associated with worse prognosis. No significant difference was found for synchronous contralateral cancer. Level of Evidence: 3. Technical Efficacy: Stage 4. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2020;51:1858–1867.