Detecting Breast Cancer: 3-D Screening Reduces Recall Rates
News Jul 30, 2013
Digital mammography is considered the mainstay for breast cancer screening. However, it is not a perfect test, and many women are asked to come back for additional testing that often turns out not to show cancer. These additional screening tests increase patient anxiety.
Tomosynthesis creates a high-resolution, three-dimensional reconstruction of the breast, which can then be viewed as sequential slices through the breast. Tomosynthesis has been shown to increase the visibility of many lesions, and helps to distinguish potentially cancerous findings from otherwise normal breast tissue.
The Yale researchers studied more than 13,000 patients who were screened. Of these, 6,100 received tomosynthesis plus mammography, and 7,058 underwent conventional digital mammography alone. The recall rate was 8.4% for patients in the tomosynthesis group, and 12% for the mammography-alone group.
“The addition of tomosynthesis resulted in a 30% reduction in the overall recall rate,” said first author Dr. Brian Haas, in the diagnostic radiology department of Yale School of Medicine.
“This recall reduction benefitted women of all breast densities and in all age groups, but particularly for those younger than 50, and those with dense breasts,” said corresponding author Dr. Liane E. Philpotts, professor of diagnostic radiology at Yale School of Medicine. “Reducing recall rates means there will be fewer patients anxious about getting called back, and it means that there will be downstream cost savings for the healthcare system,” she added.
The study did not reveal a statistically significant difference in actual cancer detection between the two groups. However, Philpotts cautioned, “This does not mean that one does not exist. Ongoing data collection since this study is showing a higher rate of cancer detection with tomosynthesis than without it. We will need a larger number of patients to see more precisely what exactly the effect is on cancer detection.”
Possible Biomarker to Identify Who Would Benefit from ImmunotherapyNews
While immunotherapy has made a big impact on cancer treatment, the fact remains that only about a quarter of patients respond to these treatments. In a new study, researchers examined tissue samples from melanoma and ovarian cancer patients treated with immunotherapies and found a link between the percentage of antigen-presenting cells expressing PD-L1 and an objective clinical response to treatment.READ MORE
Fight Against Cancer: Drug Combination Helps Kickstart the Immune SystemNews
Scientists from King's College London have found a way to boost the immune system to help it fight back against cancer.
The breakthrough involves the first ever use of a combination of chemotherapy and a drug being trialled as a treatment for neonatal jaundice, that together help kick start the body's natural defences.
Researchers Zoom in on DNA Code Being Read in CellsNews
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted – revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life. The mechanism for reading DNA and decoding it to build proteins for their needs is common to all animals and plants, and is often hijacked by cancer. The discovery of exactly how the molecular mechanism works, could open up new approaches to cancer treatment.READ MORE