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Peri-tumoural spatial distribution of lipid composition and tubule formation in breast cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jiabao He



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s).Background: Response guided treatment in breast cancer is highly desirable, but the effectiveness is only established based on residual cellularity from histopathological analysis after surgery. Tubule formation, a key component of grading score, is directly associated with cellularity, with significant implications on prognosis. Peri-tumoural lipid composition, a potential marker, can be rapidly mapped across the entire breast using novel method of chemical shift-encoded imaging, enabling the quantification of spatial distribution. We hypothesise that peri-tumoural spatial distribution of lipid composition is sensitive to tumour cellular differentiation and proliferative activity. Methods: Twenty whole tumour specimens freshly excised from patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (9 Score 2 and 11 Score 3 in tubule formation) were scanned on a 3 T clinical scanner (Achieva TX, Philips Healthcare). Quantitative lipid composition maps were acquired for polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fatty acids (PUFA, MUFA, SFA). The peri-tumoural spatial distribution (mean, skewness, entropy and kurtosis) of each lipid constituent were then computed. The proliferative activity marker Ki-67 and tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were assessed histologically. Results: For MUFA, there were significant differences between groups in mean (p = 0.0119), skewness (p = 0.0116), entropy (p = 0.0223), kurtosis (p = 0.0381), and correlations against Ki-67 in mean (ρ = -0.5414), skewness (ρ = 0.6045) and entropy (ρ = 0.6677), and TILs in mean (ρ = -0.4621). For SFA, there were significant differences between groups in mean (p = 0.0329) and skewness (p = 0.0111), and correlation against Ki-67 in mean (ρ = 0.5910). For PUFA, there was no significant difference in mean, skewness, entropy or kurtosis between the groups. Conclusions: There was an association between peri-tumoural spatial distribution of lipid composition with tumour cellular differentiation and proliferation. Peri-tumoural lipid composition imaging might have potential in non-invasive quantitative assessment of patients with breast cancer for treatment planning and monitoring.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chan K-S, Cheung SM, Senn N, Husain E, Masannat Y, Heys S, He J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Cancer

Year: 2022

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 17/03/2022

Acceptance date: 22/02/2022

Date deposited: 01/11/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2407

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12885-022-09362-1

PubMed id: 35300617


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