If we know early that a patient is not going to respond

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, given for five to six months before gas flowmeter Manufacturers surgery, is the standard treatment for some women with newly diagnosed invasive, but operable, breast cancer.The aim of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is to eliminate active cancer cells - producing a complete response - before surgery.Those who achieve a complete response have a lower risk of cancer recurrence than those who do not.However, fewer than half of women treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy achieve a complete response."Patients who respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy have better outcomes than those who do not, so determining early in treatment who is going to be more likely to have a complete response is important," said Dawn Hershman, leader of the Breast Cancer Programme at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US."If we know early that a patient is not going to respond to the treatment they are getting, it may be possible to change treatment and avoid side effects," said Hershman.

The researchers had suspected that looking at the vasculature system in breasts might hold a clue. Breast tumours have a denser network of blood vessels than those found in a healthy breast.Blood flows freely through healthy breasts, but in breasts with tumours, blood gets soaked up by the tumour, inhibiting blood flow. Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they also affect the vasculature inside the tumour.The team thought they might be able to pick optical clues of these vascular changes, since blood is a strong absorber of light.The researchers analyzed imaging data from 34 patients with invasive breast cancer between June 2011 and March 2016.The patients comfortably positioned their breasts in the optical system, where, unlike mammograms, there was no compression.Researchers captured a series of images during a breath hold of at least 15 seconds, which inhibited the backflow of blood through the veins but not the inflow through the arteries.

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