Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Innovative device allows 3-D imaging of the breast with less radiation

17.06.2016

Preliminary tests have demonstrated that a new device may enable existing breast cancer imagers to provide up to six times better contrast of tumors in the breast, while maintaining the same or better image quality and halving the radiation dose to patients. The advance is made possible by a new device developed for 3D imaging of the breast by researchers at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Dilon Technologies and the University of Florida Department of Biomedical Engineering.


Adding this variable angle slant hole collimator to an existing breast molecular imaging system allows the system to get six times better contrast of cancer lesions in the breast, providing the same or better image quality while also potentially reducing the radiation dose to the patient by half. Technologies developed at DOE's Jefferson Lab for the variable angle slant hole collimator are included in two filings to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Credit: DOE's Jefferson Lab

In breast cancer screening, mammography is the gold standard. But about half of all women who follow standard screening protocol for 10 years will receive a false-positive result that will require additional screening, particularly women who have dense breast tissue. Used in conjunction with mammography, imaging based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening alongside mammography to reduce the number of false positive results in women with dense breasts and at higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Now, researchers are hoping to improve this imaging technique, known as molecular breast imaging or breast specific gamma imaging, with better image quality and precise location (depth information) within the breast, while reducing the amount of radiation dose to the patient for these procedures.

According to Drew Weisenberger, leader of the Jefferson Lab Radiation Detector and Imaging Group, a new device called a variable angle slant hole collimator provides all of these benefits and more. When used in a molecular breast imager, the device has just demonstrated in early studies to capture 3D molecular breast images at higher resolution than current 2D scans in a format that may be used alongside 3D digital mammograms.

"These results really focus on the breast. We hope to build on this to perhaps improve the imaging of other organs," Weisenberger said. The new device replaces a component in existing molecular breast imagers.

While a mammogram uses X-rays to show the structure of breast tissue, molecular breast imagers show tissue function. For instance, cancer tumors are fast growing, so they gobble up certain compounds more rapidly that healthy tissue. A radiopharmaceutical made of such a compound will quickly accumulate in tumors. A radiotracer attached to the molecule gives off gamma rays, which can be picked up by the molecular breast imager.

"You can image that accumulation external to the breast by using a gamma camera," said Weisenberger.

Current molecular breast imaging systems use a traditional collimator, which is essentially a rectangular plate of dense metal with a grid of holes, to "filter" the gamma rays for the camera. The collimator only allows the system to pick up the gamma rays that come straight out of the breast, through the holes of collimator, and into the imager. This provides for a clear, well-defined image of any cancer tumors.

The variable angle slant hole collimator, or VASH collimator, is constructed from a stack of 49 tungsten sheets, each one a quarter of a millimeter thick and containing an identical array of square holes. The sheets are stacked like a deck of cards, with angled edges on two sides. The angle of the array of square holes in the stack can be easily slanted by two small motors that slide the individual sheets by their edges. The result is a systematic varying of the focusing angle of the collimator during the imaging procedure.

"Now, you can get a whole range of angles of projections of the breast without moving the breast or moving the imager. You're able to come in real close, you're able to compress the breast, and you can get a one-to-one comparison to a 3D mammogram," Weisenbeger explained.

In a recent test of the system, the researchers evaluated the spatial resolution and contrast-to-noise ratio in images of a "breast phantom," a plastic mockup of a breast with four beads inside simulating cancer tumors of varying diameter that are marked with a radiotracer. They found that using the VASH collimator with an existing breast molecular imaging system, they could get six times better contrast of tumors in the breast, which could potentially reduce the radiation dose to the patient by half from the current levels, while maintaining the same or better image quality. The test results match a published paper that predicted this performance via a Monte Carlo simulation.

The collimator was built at Jefferson Lab and the test results were analyzed at the University of Florida with funds provided by a Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and with matching support provided by Dilon Technologies.

The test results were presented at the 2016 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Annual Meeting in San Diego on June 13. The technologies developed for the Variable Angle Slant Hole Collimator are included in two filings to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

###

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE Applied Technologies, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Jefferson Lab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.

Media Contact

Kandice Carter
kcarter@jlab.org
757-269-7263

 @Jblab

http://www.jlab.org 

Kandice Carter | EurekAlert!

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht A first look at interstitial fluid flow in the brain
05.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht A sentinel to watch over ocular pressure
04.07.2018 | Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>