A team of Dartmouth engineers and doctors are trying to find more comfortable and comprehensive ways to examine breast tissue to better detect and diagnose breast cancer. The Dartmouth group is simultaneously developing and testing four different breast imaging techniques.
The multidisciplinary Dartmouth team includes researchers from the Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth Medical School, and they are working under the auspices of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the department of radiology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Halfway through their five-year, $7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study four techniques for breast imaging, the group is learning a great deal about breast tissue structure and behavior through magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), electrical impedance spectral imaging (EIS), microwave imaging spectroscopy (MIS), and near infrared (NIR) spectral imaging.
Its the combination of these four techniques that sets the Dartmouth program apart. Their rationale is that one of the methods by itself may not provide the complete picture, but by using more than one technique, there should be added value.
During the first two and a half years of this five-year National Cancer Institute grant, the group has made significant progress on the technical aspects of the imaging techniques. They have improved the tools and manner of delivery so the exams are more comfortable for the participants.
For the next two and a half years, the researchers will focus on a controlled trial with 150 subjects. The goal is to rigorously test the four techniques and gather data to inform the detection of abnormalities and their subsequent diagnoses.
Sue Knapp | EurekAlert!
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