Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique lets doctors examine milk ducts for breast problems

05.11.2002


A new technique enables doctors to directly examine the lining of milk ducts in the breast for early signs of cancer and other abnormalities, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers used the technique, known as ductoscopy, to detect breast abnormalities in women with a condition called pathologic nipple discharge (PND).

The findings are published in the October issue of the journal Surgery.

“This technique is more successful than anything we’ve had in the past for identifying and localizing abnormalities in the breast in women with pathologic nipple discharge,” says first author Jill Richardson Dietz, M.D., assistant professor of surgery and a breast surgeon at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “Ductoscopy helps the surgeon find the lesion, take it out and save normal breast tissue.”



According to Dietz, the technique also may help surgeons detect and treat breast cancer -- more than 80 percent of which arises in milk ducts.

PND is a clearish bloody discharge from a milk duct. Only a small percentage of women experience the problem, and fewer than 5 percent of those show signs of cancer. Most often, PND is caused by benign changes such as the growth of tiny polyps, known as papillomas, in the ducts.

Doctors traditionally treat the condition by surgically removing the ductal system that is releasing the fluid, but it often is difficult to locate the abnormal tissue within the breast. For example, ductograms, flat, two-dimensional mammograms that use a dye injected into the duct at the nipple, may not precisely or completely locate abnormalities. Alternatively, surgeons sometimes insert a fine fiber-like probe into the problem duct and remove the tissue around the probe, or they may remove all the ducts behind the nipple.

These procedures often require an educated guess about the location of unhealthy tissue within the breast and often result in removal of a relatively large amount of healthy tissue as well.

During ductoscopy, the surgeon threads a hollow tube about 1 mm in diameter into the affected milk duct. The tube enables the surgeon to view the duct lining directly on a television monitor to locate and inspect the unhealthy tissue. It also serves as a guide to remove the abnormal duct. The technique spares as much normal breast tissue as possible and leaves patients with less pain and numbness.

Dietz, along with colleagues at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, tested ductoscopy on 119 women with PND. Ducts affected by PND become dilated and enlarged, which simplifies insertion of a ductoscope. The procedure was successful in 87 percent of participants. Four percent showed signs of breast cancer and the remainder were diagnosed with polyps and other benign disorders.

Seventy patients received both a ductogram and ductoscopy. Ductograms identified abnormalities in 53 of these women while ductoscopy revealed abnormalities in 63 patients.

“This suggests that we can localize abnormalities better with ductoscopy than we can with ductograms,” says Dietz.

In addition, ductoscopy revealed multiple abnormalities deep within the breast that likely would have been missed and left behind using standard procedures, she says.

Next, Dietz will apply ductoscopy to women without PND who are at high risk for breast cancer. If that study is successful, she says, it may one day be possible to treat these cancers with chemotherapy applied only to the duct.

“Ductoscopy may become valuable not only for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer but also for its early treatment,” says Dietz.


Dietz JR, Crowe JP, Grundfest S, Arrigain S, Kim JA. Directed-duct excision using mammary ductoscopy in patients with pathological nipple discharge. Surgery, 132(4), 582-588, October 2002.

This research was funded in part by a grant from Acueity, Inc., Larkspur, Calif.

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://medinfo.wustl.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>