European Radiology

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 2227–2235 | Cite as

Tumour volume doubling time of molecular breast cancer subtypes assessed by serial breast ultrasound

  • Eun Bi Ryu
  • Jung Min Chang
  • Mirinae Seo
  • Sun Ah Kim
  • Ji He Lim
  • Woo Kyung MoonEmail author



The aim of our study was to evaluate the tumour volume doubling time (TVDT) of molecular breast cancer subtypes by serial ultrasound (US).


Sixty-six patients (mean age, 50 years; range, 29–78 years) with invasive breast cancer underwent initial and follow-up breast US examinations (at least three months apart) with no intervention. TVDT was determined using the tumours’ greatest dimensions in two orthogonal planes. The results were compared with clinical, imaging, and tumour variables and molecular subtypes (oestrogen receptor [ER]-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]-positive, and triple negative) using a multiple linear regression analysis.


TVDT exhibited a wide range (46–825 days; median, 141 days) with an overall mean of 193 ± 141 days and mean values of 241 ± 166 days for ER-positive tumours (n = 37), 162 ± 60 days for HER2-positive tumours (n = 12), and 103 ± 43 days for triple-negative tumours (n = 17) (P < 0.0001). In a multivariate regression analysis, compared to other features, only the different molecular breast cancer subtypes showed significant difference in TVDT (P < 0.0001).


TVDT differed significantly among the three molecular breast cancer subtypes, with the triple-negative tumours showing the fastest growth.

Key Points

• Knowledge of tumour volume doubling time provides clues for improving screening.

• TVDT assessed by serial US differed significantly between breast cancer subtypes.

• Triple-negative tumours had 2.4-fold shorter TVDT compared to ER-positive tumours.

• Tumours classified as BI-RADS 3 had shorter TVDT than BI-RADS 4.


Breast cancer Molecular subtypes Ultrasound Tumour volume doubling time Triple-negative breast cancer 

Abbreviations and acronyms


Tumour volume doubling time


oestrogen receptor


progesterone receptor


human epidermal growth factor receptor 2




Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Woo Kyung Moon. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This study has received funding by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. 2012R1A2A1A01010846). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board. Methodology: retrospective, observational, performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun Bi Ryu
    • 1
  • Jung Min Chang
    • 2
  • Mirinae Seo
    • 2
  • Sun Ah Kim
    • 2
  • Ji He Lim
    • 2
  • Woo Kyung Moon
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences Cancer CenterBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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