Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Magnetic Resonance Imaging Significantly Better than Mammography for Detecting Number and Size of Tumors in Breast Cancer


Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania today presented the first comprehensive study results which show that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is significantly better than traditional mammography for detecting the presence and extent of disease in patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The research has significant implications for women considering surgical options – other than a full mastectomy – to remove their breast cancer, such as a lumpectomy. Indeed, an MRI is recommended for all women considering surgical options, in order to detect the full extent of the breast cancer prior to surgery, yet preserve as much healthy breast tissue as possible. Abramson researchers led the first international, multi-site group of researchers to study the subject – the International Breast MRI Consortium (IBMC) – and presented their results at the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology in New Orleans.

“There has never really been a gold standard for detecting how many tumors or how widespread is a women’s breast cancer,” said study principal investigator and professor Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, a radiologist at the Cancer Center and chief of the MRI section at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. “These study results are very conclusive that breast MRI works better for detecting breast cancer, and physicians – when evaluating surgical options for breast conservation – should be using MRI over traditional mammography with physical exam for determining how widespread the tumors are and how much tissue really needs to be removed.”

The study – at 17 different sites throughout the US, Canada and Germany – examined more than 1000 women, most of whom were over the age of 40, for a period of three years. All of the women had suspicious lesions on their mammograms, which required further investigation to see if cancer was present. Each participant had both follow-up mammograms and MRIs. Cancer was confirmed by a biopsy, surgical removal and microscopic examination of the tissue. Of the 428 women who had breast cancer, MRI detected additional cancerous lesions in 56 women, while mammograms detected additional lesions in only 17. In statistical terms, MRI was more than 2 times as effective than mammography in detecting multiple tumors.

Prior to this international study, only single-site data was available and, due to small populations (less than 100 women) and the increased potential for single-population bias, the results could not be considered conclusive.

“The impact for patient care is significant,” said Schnall. “Because MRI is so sensitive at detecting as much of the breast cancer as possible, we can hopefully improve the effectiveness of lumpectomy by reducing the rate of recurrence of breast cancer.”

“Additionally, if we capture more of the cancer at the time of detection, there will be less of a need for radiation therapy after surgery – allowing for fewer side effects from treatment.”

Current statistics for the recurrence of breast cancer – after breast conservation therapy, such as lumpectomy – are three to 19 percent after ten years. Preventing recurrence is strongly linked to removing all tumors, through full surgical margins (the amount of surrounding tissue that is removed along with the tumor) and accurate detection of cancerous tissue.

MRI is a non-invasive procedure that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to construct pictures of the body. Unlike conventional X-rays, MRI imaging uses the magnetic properties of atoms to differentiate organs, and contrast benign and malignant tissue. Imaging planes (or "slices") from any part of the body can be projected, stored in a computer, or printed on film. MRI can easily be performed through clothing and bones.

Funding for the study was provided through a research grant in 1997 from the National Cancer Institute that totaled nearly $5 million. At the time, it was the largest grant ever awarded for breast MRI research.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2004 over 200,000 American women (11,000 in Pennsylvania alone) will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 will die from the disease.

Rebecca Harmon | UPMC
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

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: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>