Quantitative Analysis Improves Breast Screening: Research Highlights from RSNA
Volpara Solutions’ Quantitative Breast Imaging Tools Continue to Be Widely Used in Research
CHICAGO, November 26, 2018 – Quantitative analysis improves breast cancer screening, according to four abstracts at the 104th Annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting, November 25–30, 2018. The investigators all used Volpara Solutions’ breast imaging analysis tools, including assessment of volumetric density and compression pressure, in their research.
In the study “Using Quantitative Breast Density Analysis to Predict Interval Cancers and Node Positive Cancers in Pursuit of Improved Screening Protocols,” (SSE01-03, Monday, November 26, 3:20–3:30 PM, Room: E451B), Elizabeth Burnside, MD, and colleagues investigated whether quantitative breast density can predict interval cancers and node-positive, screen-detected cancers in order to serve as a biomarker to consider more aggressive screening to improve early detection. The study involved 599 cases of screen-detected cancers and interval cancers and 605 controls from the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme. For each case, breast density was assessed by a radiologist using a visual analog scale (VAS) and BI-RADS 5th Edition density categories and using fully automated Volpara®Density™ software to calculate fibroglandular volume (FGV) and Volpara Density Grade (VDG®).
The results showed that FGV predicted interval, screen-detected, node-positive, and node-negative cancers compared to controls and provided remarkable stratification of interval cancers, whereas VAS only predicted interval cancers. The quantitative nature of FGV and VDG and notable risk stratification based on relative risk indicate that these variables may be promising biomarkers for early cancer detection.
In the study “Predicting Masking Risk in Mammography,” (SSE01-05, Monday, November 26, 3:40–3:50 PM, Room: E451B), researchers at the University of Toronto evaluated a masking index, developed to predict the likelihood of a masked or missed cancer, to stratify women at greatest risk of masking to supplementary imaging modalities. VolparaDensity software was used to analyze images from screen-detected cancers and non-screen-detected cancers. Results showed that age and BMI were relatively weak predictors of masking risk whereas volumetric breast density and new detectability measures had better performance. Adding textural measures improved predictions slightly, beyond density alone. The authors concluded that masking indexes to predict when mammography will underperform could be a valuable tool in a stratified screening program that could redirect women with highly masked mammograms to alternative or adjunct screening strategies.
In the poster “Automated Volumetric Breast Density Estimation: A Comparison with Radiologists’ Qualitative Classification,” (BR222-SD-SUA3, BR Community, Learning Center, Station 3), VolparaDensity software was used by Beijing Medical University, China, to analyze 7,971 mammograms. The density results were compared to BI-RADS 5th Edition visual assessments. Results showed that significantly more mammograms were classified as dense using VDG as compared with visual assessments (43.9 to 17.1%).
In the study “Mammographic Compression Variability Increased after Removing Real-Time Pressure Indicator,” (SSE23-05, Monday, November 26, 3:40–3:50 PM, Room: S502AB), researchers at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam used Volpara Solutions’ algorithms to evaluate the impact of real-time feedback on the standardization of mammographic compression. In the study, researchers evaluated the impact on a group of experienced technologists when the Sigmascreening™ pressure-based paddle was replaced by a conventional paddle. Results showed that the average compression pressure and variance significantly increased, leading to more over- and under-compression: the proportion of high pressures (>15 kPa) and low pressures (<5 kPa) both increased, from 11.0% to 18.8% and from 1.6% to 3.3%, respectively. The results suggested that this specific paddle-type change increased compression variability.
Volpara Solutions will showcase its entire suite of quantitative breast imaging tools at Booth 2565, South Hall, McCormick Convention Center during RSNA.
About Volpara Solutions
Founded with the goal of helping radiologists give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, Volpara Solutions is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Volpara Health Technologies Limited of New Zealand. Available in most markets where breast cancer screening is commonplace, VolparaDensity provides an objective volumetric measure of breast density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis data. VolparaEnterprise software is a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools for personalized measurements of density, patient-specific x ray dose, breast compression, breast positioning, and other factors designed to provide critical insight for breast imaging workflow.
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Chris K. Joseph