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Editor's e-Note
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 13% of American women, or approximately 1 in 8, will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives. Although deaths from breast cancer have been declining for decades, the disease will still kill approximately 42,170 women in the United States this year, according to the ACS.

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re highlighting a couple of studies that examine the role of digital breast tomosynthesis in breast screening. Increased screening has been credited as a substantial factor in catching breast cancer early, but screening is not infallible; one of the factors that significantly confounds mammography results is breast density. DBT is a newer modality that has shown benefit in finding cancers and reducing recalls in women with dense breasts, but, as you’ll read, those results depend largely on the specific subtype of breast tissue.

Does your facility offer DBT? Has DBT benefited you or someone you know? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Stay safe.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Researchers Examine Benefits of DBT Screening

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia recently published a commentary examining clinical practices for breast cancer detection using traditional mammography vs digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) on baseline and subsequent screenings. DBT, also called 3D mammography, can be used to identify early signs of breast cancer in women with or without early symptoms.

“The take-home point of this publication is that we’re now getting more information about specifically which women benefit from digital breast tomosynthesis over traditional mammography or digital 2D mammography,” says study author Catherine Tuite, MD, an associate professor of radiology and section chief for breast radiology in the department of diagnostic imaging at Fox Chase.

According to researchers, mammography remains the standard for breast cancer detection. However, although women who receive breast cancer screenings through mammography have an improved chance of surviving a breast cancer diagnosis, mammograms have limitations, such as false-positives and high recall rates.

Tuite says breast tissue density, which can only be determined by a mammogram, is a major factor in the efficacy of mammography. There are four categories of density; it is categorized as fatty, scattered fibroglandular, heterogeneous, and extremely dense. Tuite says the more glandular tissue a patient has, the whiter a mammogram appears. In those cases, it is more likely that breast cancer will be hidden in the dense breast tissue and not visible to a radiologist.

Full story »
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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
Weblike 3D Photodetector Merges Direction, Intensity of Incident Light
Taking several cues from the insect kingdom, Purdue University researchers announce they have developed versatile spider web–inspired 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging. The device’s curvilinear capabilities, they say, mimic the optical systems of insects, in that they merge disparate qualities of light. More information is available in the journal Advanced Materials.

DoD Commissions Specialized MRI to Identify Brain Injuries
The Albany Times Union reports that the US Department of Defense has partnered with New York–based GE Global Research on a $5.6 million “MAGNUS” MRI gradient coil. The 3 T scanner will be geared toward identifying mild brain injuries that often go undetected and untreated, according to the report.

Australian Firefighters Upgrade Imaging Capacities
As part of a $100 million initiative to prepare for the impending brushfire season, firefighters in Southern Australia have implemented measures including thermal imaging cameras that can detect hazards and people in distress, according to Australia’s ABC News.

Microscopic Life Form Generates Fluorescent Light to Counter UV Radiation
Researchers in India studying a species of tardigrade, or “water bear,” found that the organism produces a blue fluorescent light that staves off deadly UV rays, according to New Scientist. Furthermore, the compound was successfully transplanted into another organism, raising hopes that it could one day benefit humankind, according to Biology Letters.  
Worth Repeating
“Medicine has been down this road before—early clinical trials didn’t think much about gender, racial, or geographic diversity and we are still working to address that oversight. As AI is set to enter clinical medicine, we shouldn’t have to wait 30, 40 years to make all the same mistakes and fix them again. We should see where this is headed and address it up front.”

Amit Kaushal, MD, PhD, of Stanford University, on an analysis that found medical AI algorithms are overwhelmingly trained on cohorts from California, Massachusetts, and New York, with scant representation of the remaining 47 states