Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


3D mammography shows promise as next breast screening technique


“Full-field digital tomosynthesis is mammography--only better,” researchers say of a new technique that just might be the next generation of breast cancer screening. Two new studies on this technique illustrate that full-field digital tomosynthesis (TOMO) can not only increase the visibility of breast lesions but could likely dramatically reduce the number of patients being called back for a second mammogram because their first screening mammogram was unclear.

In the first study, researchers compared standard plain film mammography to TOMO. Forty patients were included in the study. Radiologists detected 16 of 22 malignant lesions on mammography and 18 of 22 malignant lesions on TOMO, says Elizabeth Rafferty, MD, lead author of both studies. TOMO was superior to plain film mammography in detecting masses and architectural distortions, which results from a tethering or pulling in of the tissue, says Dr. Rafferty. Calcifications were not as conspicuous on the tomosynthesis imaging during the pilot study, she says. “We are currently implementing a solution to this challenge and will have data on this soon,” she adds.

In the second study, 45 patients were reviewed. All patients had been called back for a second mammogram because their first showed a possible abnormality; “30 of them were subsequently found by additional mammographic views to have breast tissue overlap accounting for their possible abnormality,” she says. Fifteen patients went on to biopsy. “We asked radiologists to look at the TOMO study (without knowing the results of the second mammogram or biopsy) and indicate whether they would have called these patients back for additional evaluation,” says Dr. Rafferty. They indicated that they would have only called back five of the 30 patients who had breast tissue overlap. “If we could have used TOMO on these patients initially, it would have saved 25 women the anxiety they felt and the inconvenience they experienced of being called back for additional tests,” notes Dr. Rafferty.

The radiologists indicated that they would have recalled 14 of the 15 patients who had a biopsy, says Dr. Rafferty. A single reader missed one cancer, she says. “This is well within the standard interobserver variability seen with conventional mammography,” she adds.

“TOMO allows us to take multiple projections of the breast at different angles. These projections are then reconstructed into a three-dimensional data set. We can then look at each slice individually and assess each area of the breast without confusing overlap from surrounding structures,” Dr. Rafferty says. “The ability to look at individual slices of the breast is a real asset,” she says.

TOMO is more comfortable for the patient. The patient’s breasts only need to be compressed once (compared to twice for the standard two-view mammogram); the patient sits during the procedure, and the overall radiation dose is lower, says Dr. Rafferty. Dr. Rafferty cautions, however, that “full-field digital tomosynthesis is still in its infancy.” However, she predicts, “this technique will only get better.” Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital conceived, developed, and patented full-field breast tomosynthesis, and, in conjunction with General Electric, built the only prototype currently in clinical use. To date, more than 350 clinical tomosynthesis studies have been performed at Massachusetts General Hospital under research protocols.

Dr. Rafferty will present the results of her studies on May 8 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Contact: Keri J. Sperry (703) 858-4306
Danica Laub (703) 858-4332
Press Room: (619) 525-6536 (May 5-8)

Keri Sperry | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>