Some women are given chemotherapy prior to surgery to reduce the size of tumours but it remains unclear who will benefit.
Now scientists and doctors in Leeds will assess the use of magnetic resonance imaging to find out at an earlier stage whether tumours are responding to treatment
Prof David Buckley, of Leeds University, has developed a method to tell whether a tumour is responding to chemotherapy using a conventional hospital MRI scan to measure blood flow to the tumour. The trial will recruit 40 women to assess if changes can be detected after one cycle of chemotherapy.
Katherine Woods, of the Breast Cancer Campaign, which is funding the trial, said: “Prof Buckley’s research will help find better ways to monitor how effective chemotherapy before surgery actually is for each individual, ensuring that it can be directed to the people most likely to benefit and enabling those it is unlikely to help to be spared from the gruelling side-effects and to pursue more appropriate options.”
More than 4,000 women in Yorkshire are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and it claims the lives of almost 1,000 annually.