ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Radiological Features for Predicting the Status of CD8-Positive Lymphocytes in HER2 Positive Breast Cancer
Yuhong Fan1, Xiaoguang Li2, Peng Zhong3, Peng Zhong2, Dong Han1, Wuguo Tian4, Jingqin Fang
1Department of Ultrasound Diagnosis, Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China
2Department of Radiology, Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China
3Department of Pathology, Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China
4Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2024.2024-2-64
Pages : 213-221


Background: The level of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer (BC) is positively correlated with pathological complete response.
Aims: To investigate the relationship between ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features and the level of CD8-positive TILs (CD8+-TILs) in patients with HER2-positive BC.
Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: This retrospective study included 155 consecutive women with HER2-positive BC. Patients were divided into two groups: CD8+-TILlow (< 35%) and CD8+-TILhigh (≥ 35%) groups. US and MRI features were evaluated using the BI-RADS lexicon, and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value was calculated using RadiAnt software. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed the optimal US and MRI features for predicting CD8+-TIL levels. Receiver operating characteristic analysis and the Delong test were used to compare the diagnostic performance of US and MRI features. Furthermore, implementing a nomogram will increase clinical utility.
Results: Univariate analysis of US features showed significant differences in shape, orientation, and posterior echo between the two groups; however, there were no significant differences in margins, internal echo, and microcalcification. Multifactorial analysis revealed that shape, orientation, and posterior echo were independent risk factors, with odds ratios of 11.62, 2.70, and 0.16, respectively. In terms of MRI features, ADC was an independent predictor of CD8+-TIL levels. These three US features and the ADC performed well, with area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.802 and 0.705, respectively. The combination of US and ADC values had higher predictive efficacy (AUC = 0.888) than either US or ADC alone (p = 0.009, US_ADC vs. US; p  < 0.001, US_ADC vs. ADC).
Conclusion: US features (shape, orientation, and posterior echo) and ADC value may be a valuable tool for estimating CD8+-TIL levels in HER2-positive BC. The nomogram may help clinicians in making decisions.

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