Side-by-Side OCE-Study of Elasticity and SHG-Characterization of Collagen Fibers in Breast Cancer Tissue before and after Chemotherapy

Anton A. Plekhanov orcid (Login required)
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Arseniy L. Potapov
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Mikhail V. Pavlov
Nizhny Novgorod Regional Oncologic Hospital, Russia

Vadim V. Elagin
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Ekaterina V. Gubarkova
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Alexander A. Sovetsky
Institute of Applied Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Lev A. Matveev
Institute of Applied Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Dmitriy A. Vorontsov
Nizhny Novgorod Regional Oncologic Hospital, Russia

Alexander L. Matveyev
Institute of Applied Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Alexey Y. Vorontsov
Nizhny Novgorod Regional Oncologic Hospital, Russia

Sergey V. Gamayunov
Nizhny Novgorod Regional Oncologic Hospital, Russia

Elena V. Zagaynova
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Marina A. Sirotkina
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Vladimir Y. Zaitsev
Institute of Applied Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Natalia D. Gladkova
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia


Paper #8959 received 20 Apr 2023; revised manuscript received 31 May 2023; accepted for publication 2 Jun 2023; published online 15 Jun 2023.

Abstract

In the recent years promising results have been shown by the use of Compression optical coherence elastography (C-OCE) as a new optical biopsy approach to morphological assessment/diagnostics of human breast cancer using differences in elastic properties of morphological components of cancerous tissues. In this study, for the first time, a relationship was established between microstructural organization and biomechanical properties of breast-cancer tissue with pathomorphological changes caused by chemotherapy. To characterize texture of collagen fibers in the microenvironment of breast cancer, high-resolution visualization by Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy was used. A side-by-side C-OCE and SHG imaging of patients’ breast cancer tissues before and after chemotherapy was carried out. Regions of the cancer stroma (collagen fibers outside aggregates of cancer cells) were assessed separately from regions of cancer cell clusters penetrated by collagen fibers. For cancer stroma areas after chemotherapy, a statistically significant decrease in stiffness values was found. Simultaneously, parameters of collagen texture in SHG images (mean intensity, “coherency” and “energy”) indicated increase in the collagen content, orientational orderliness, and collagen-texture heterogeneity. In contrast, cancer-cell areas post chemotherapy showed a statistically significant increase in stiffness. Analysis of SHG images of these regions indicated decrease in the inter-cellular collagen content and heterogeneity of its texture, whereas its orientational orderliness somewhat increased. The established negative correlation between stiffness and SHG parameters of collagen in cancer stroma indicates the contribution of the increase in orientational orderliness and total collagen content to the reduction in stiffness of breast cancer stroma after chemotherapy. For cancer-cell regions, significantly lower correlation between stiffness and SHG parameters (especially for coherency) was found, indicating stronger role of chemotherapy-induced changes in cancer cells themselves. These results give a deeper insight in the role of collagen texture organization in biomechanics of breast cancer tissues and contribute to a more detailed substantiation of the morphological characterization of breast cancer by C-OCE imaging.

Keywords

breast cancer; tissue stiffness; morphological assessment; compression optical coherence elastography (C-OCE); second-harmonic generation (SHG)

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