Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Automated breast density test identifies women at high cancer risk

Date:
February 1, 2013
Source:
Moffitt Cancer Center
Summary:
Researchers have developed a novel computer algorithm to easily quantify a major risk factor for breast cancer based on analysis of a screening mammogram. Increased levels of mammographic breast density have been shown in multiple studies to be correlated with elevated risk of breast cancer, but the approach to quantifying it has been limited to the laboratory setting where measurement requires highly skilled technicians. This new discovery opens the door for translation to the clinic where it can be used to identify high-risk women for tailored treatment.

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have developed a novel computer algorithm to easily quantify a major risk factor for breast cancer based on analysis of a screening mammogram. Increased levels of mammographic breast density have been shown in multiple studies to be correlated with elevated risk of breast cancer, but the approach to quantifying it has been limited to the laboratory setting where measurement requires highly skilled technicians. This new discovery opens the door for translation to the clinic where it can be used to identify high-risk women for tailored treatment.

"We recently developed an automated method to estimate mammographic breast density that assesses the variation in grayscale values in mammograms," explained study lead author J. Heine, Ph.D., associate member of the Cancer Epidemiology Program and Cancer Imaging and Metabolism Department at Moffitt.

According to the authors, mammographic breast density, or the proportion of fibroglandular tissue pictured on the mammogram, is an established risk factor for breast cancer. Women with high mammographic breast density have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. However, mammographic breast density has not been used in clinical settings for risk assessments due in large part to the lack of an automated and standardized measurement.

Using their new method, the researchers compared the accuracy and reliability of their measurements of variation in breast density with the performance of tests that use the degree of dense breast tissue in a mammogram to assess breast cancer risk. A study describing their novel method and its utility was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

According to Heine, they found that the variation measure was a "viable, automated mammographic density measure that is consistent across film and digital imaging platforms" and "may be useful in the clinical setting for risk assessment."

In addition, they found that the association between variation and the risk of breast cancer was strong for mammograms carried out four years prior to diagnosis. The automated method also made clearer distinctions between breast cancer case subjects and controls who did not have breast cancer.

While many clinicians use the risk predictive value of percent of breast density seen on the mammogram as the amount or proportion of bright tissue in an image, Heine and his co-authors found the variation of dense tissue is also relevant to breast cancer, suggesting a relationship between percent of breast density and variation in breast density.

"The strengths of this study include the evaluation and validation of a novel breast density measure across three well-designed epidemiological studies," said study co-author Thomas A. Sellers, Ph.D., M.P.H., center director of Moffitt. "Because we were able to compare this novel breast density measure with an established percent density measure that was available four years before diagnosis, we were allowed to show that variation was present for at least four years, and in some cases, more than eight years. Offering clinicians and patients the advantage of more timely, reliable and accurate risk could open the door for interventions to lower risk and, hopefully, prevent the disease from occurring."

The researchers concluded that the simplicity of the measure, and the ability to standardize and automate the measure across sites, could hold promise for clinicians and their patients if the measurements were incorporated into clinical risk assessment practices.

This work was supported with grants by the United States Department of Defense (DAMD 17-00-1-0331) and National Cancer Institute (R01 CA 128931; R01 CA 128931Z1; R01 CA 114491; R01 CA 122340; R01 CA97396 and P50 CA116201).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Moffitt Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. J. Heine, C. G. Scott, T. A. Sellers, K. R. Brandt, D. J. Serie, F.-F. Wu, M. J. Morton, B. A. Schueler, F. J. Couch, J. E. Olson, V. S. Pankratz, C. M. Vachon. A Novel Automated Mammographic Density Measure and Breast * Cancer Risk. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2012; 104 (13): 1028 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djs254

Cite This Page:

Moffitt Cancer Center. "Automated breast density test identifies women at high cancer risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201192204.htm>.
Moffitt Cancer Center. (2013, February 1). Automated breast density test identifies women at high cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201192204.htm
Moffitt Cancer Center. "Automated breast density test identifies women at high cancer risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201192204.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins