To develop a biomarker predicting tumor treatment efficacy is helpful to reduce time, medical expenditure, and efforts in oncology therapy. In clinics, microvessel density using immunohistochemistry has been proposed as an indicator that correlates with both tumor size and metastasis of cancer. In the preclinical study, we hypothesized that vascular morphometrics using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) could be potential indicators to estimate the treatment efficacy of breast cancer. To verify this hypothesis, a 13762-MAT-B-III rat breast tumor was grown in a dorsal skinfold window chamber which was applied to a nude mouse, and the change in vascular morphology was longitudinally monitored during tumor growth and metronomic cyclophosphamide treatment. Based on the daily OCTA maximum intensity projection map, multiple vessel parameters (vessel skeleton density, vessel diameter index, fractal dimension, and lacunarity) were compared with the tumor size in no tumor, treated tumor, and untreated tumor cases. Although each case has only one animal, we found that the vessel skeleton density (VSD), vessel diameter index and fractal dimension (FD) tended to be positively correlated with tumor size while lacunarity showed a partially negative correlation. Moreover, we observed that the changes in the VSD and FD are prior to the morphological change of the tumor. This feasibility study would be helpful in evaluating the tumor vascular response to treatment in preclinical settings.
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