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13 March 2014 Utilizing a reference material for assessing absolute tumor mechanical properties in modality independent elastography
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There is currently no reliable method for early characterization of breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) [1,2]. Given that disruption of normal structural architecture occurs in cancer-bearing tissue, we hypothesize that further structural changes occur in response to NAC. Consequently, we are investigating the use of modalityindependent elastography (MIE) [3-8] as a method for monitoring mechanical integrity to predict long term outcomes in NAC. Recently, we have utilized a Demons non-rigid image registration method that allows 3D elasticity reconstruction in abnormal tissue geometries, making it particularly amenable to the evaluation of breast cancer mechanical properties. While past work has reflected relative elasticity contrast ratios [3], this study improves upon that work by utilizing a known stiffness reference material within the reconstruction framework such that a stiffness map becomes an absolute measure. To test, a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) cryogel phantom and a silicone rubber mock mouse tumor phantom were constructed with varying mechanical stiffness. Results showed that an absolute measure of stiffness could be obtained based on a reference value. This reference technique demonstrates the ability to generate accurate measurements of absolute stiffness to characterize response to NAC. These results support that ‘referenced MIE' has the potential to reliably differentiate absolute tumor stiffness with significant contrast from that of surrounding tissue. The use of referenced MIE to obtain absolute quantification of biomarkers is also translatable across length scales such that the characterization method is mechanics-consistent at the small animal and human application.
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Dong Kyu Kim, Jared A. Weis, Thomas E. Yankeelov, and Michael I. Miga "Utilizing a reference material for assessing absolute tumor mechanical properties in modality independent elastography", Proc. SPIE 9038, Medical Imaging 2014: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 90381F (13 March 2014);

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