Variations in the cellular volume fraction and in the microvascular permeability of MCF7 human breast tumors were used to assess response to tamoxifen. These pathophysiological features were mapped by applying the three-time-point, contrast-enhanced, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging method (H. Degani et al, Nat. Med., 3: 780-782, 1997). Short-term treatment with tamoxifen caused a highly significant increase in the fraction of pixels displaying intermediate contrast agent clearance pattern and a significant increase in the fraction of pixels displaying high rate of contrast agent entrance. These changes resulted from a marked rise in the extracellular volume fraction, indicating increased necrosis, and from an augmentation in the microvascular permeability, predominantly in the vicinity of the high extracellular volume fraction areas, as a result of stress-induced angiogenesis.

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