Mammography examinations save thousands of women’s lives every year. However the rate of misdiagnosis can be high – in some instances up to 30%. This is due in part to physical differences across patient populations, differences in equipment and procedures, and difficulty in using computers to help detect changes in breast tissue.
Computer-aided detection of this potentially fatal cancer, especially when used together with the traditional method of visually screening mammograms, can not only shorten the time needed for analysis, but can also help increase the accuracy of diagnoses.
The team in the European IST project MammoGrid, which ended in August 2005, aimed to apply the power of the grid to see if they could more accurately detect breast cancer. The prototype software that resulted is already enabling users – hospitals, doctors, clinicians, radiologists and researchers – to harness the massive capacity of grid computing to run advanced algorithms on digital mammograms, stored Europe-wide.
The project team also developed a geographically distributed, grid-based database of standardised images and associated patient data. Already, there are 30,000 images stored from over 3,000 patients, equally balanced between the University Hospital of Cambridge in the UK and Udine in Italy.
The novelty of the MammoGrid approach lies in the application of grid technologies to medical diagnoses, and in providing the data and tools to enable users to compare new mammograms with existing ones in the grid database. Users can access mammograms from a variety of sources, and also computer-aided detection algorithms to detect micro-calcifications (tiny specks of calcium in the breast that could indicate cancer) and monitor breast density (dense tissue is considered a major risk factor).
“The system in its current version allows users to securely share both resources and patient data which has been treated to ensure anonymity,” explains project coordinator David Manset of Maat GKnowledge in Madrid, Spain. “It also supports effective co-working and provides the means for powerful comparative analyses through the use of a standard format for mammogram images”.
This break-through functionality could lead to major advances in prevention and detection of the disease. It also opens the door to novel, broad-based statistical analyses of the incidence of breast cancer and its different forms.
Since the project ended, a new consortium independent of IST funding has been set up to further develop the prototype and take it closer to market needs. Under Mammogrid+, a new set of partners (including organisations such as CIEMAT (Spain’s Energy, Environmental and Technological Research Centre), CERN (Switzerland), SES (health service for the Extremadura region of Spain, representing the hospitals of Infanta Christina, Don Benito and Merida), and the university hospitals of Cambridge and Udine) is building on the results already achieved.
The new project team has set up four separate sites, to simulate the needs of four different hospitals and test the latest project developments. The results from these tests have been evaluated by a panel of two IT experts and five clinicians from the hospitals in Spain’s Extremadura region.
Their feedback is being incorporated into a pre-commercial release of the software (Mammogrid+ version 1.0) in June 2007. This version is being deployed within the five hospitals collaborating in the project – these hospitals will also receive the hardware infrastructure to host the Mammogrid+ suite.
Future plans include broadening the existing database Europe-wide. Already a further hospital, the university hospital of Cork in Ireland, has shown interest in joining the Mammogrid+ network.
“The inclusion of the new hospitals will increase the coverage of the database and make our knowledge more relevant and more accurate," Manset concludes. "This will allow larger and more refined epidemiological studies. In the end, these techniques could help save lives.”Contact:
Jernett Karensen | alfa
Self-powered paper-based 'SPEDs' may lead to new medical-diagnostic tools
23.08.2017 | Purdue University
New technique to treating mitral valve diseases: First patient data
22.08.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy