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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Translational Oncology, Volume 12, Issue 7, May 2019, Pages 973-980.

The published version is available at Copyright © Margolis et al.


Breast cancer is the leading form of cancer in women, accounting for approximately 41,400 deaths in 2018. While a variety of risk factors have been identified, physical exercise has been linked to reducing both the risk and aggressiveness of breast cancer. Within breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a common finding. However, less than 25% of DCIS tumors actually progress into invasive breast cancer, resulting in overtreatment. This overtreatment is due to a lack of predictive precursors to assess aggressiveness and development of DCIS. We hypothesize that tissue oxygenation and perfusion measured by photoacoustic and contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging, respectively, can predict DCIS aggressiveness. To test this, 20 FVB/NJ and 20 SV40Tag mice that genetically develop DCIS-like breast cancers were divided evenly into exercise and control groups and imaged over the course of 6 weeks. Tissue oxygenation was a predictive precursor to invasive breast cancer for FVB/NJ mice (P = 0.015) in the early stages of tumor development. Meanwhile, perfusion results were inconclusive (P > 0.2) as a marker for disease progression. Moreover, voluntary physical exercise resulted in lower weekly tumor growth and significantly improved median survival (P = 0.014).

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