Breast MRI has several roles in the clinical management of breast cancer, including as a screening method for high-risk women, as a diagnostic tool used as an adjunct to mammography and ultrasound, and for the staging of disease extent prior to treatment. In addition to these uses, MRI is also employed to track small changes in tumor size and microenvironment. MRI has produced several early indicators of treatment response in clinical trials over the last 10years, including initial lesion pattern, changes in lesion size, kinetic parameters, apparent diffusion coefficient and T 2 value; the related technique of 1H MRS has also shown that choline concentration, T 2 value and water-to-fat ratio are response indicators. In addition to measuring anatomical changes in the lesion size, as performed in traditional radiology, MRI has the ability to track vascular and cellular changes using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and diffusion-weighted MRI, respectively. By adding 1H MRS to MRI examinations, metabolic changes can also be determined. These functional imaging techniques allow studies to focus on early time points relative to neoadjuvant treatment. Early treatment response predictors may allow therapy to be tailored to individual patients and thus aid in the realization of the goal of personalized medicine. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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