Navigation Links
New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women

MADISON A University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineer and colleagues have developed a method that, applied in MRI scans of the breast, could spare some women with increased breast cancer risk the pain and stress of having to endure a biopsy of a questionable lump or lesion.

The universal technology will give radiologists greater confidence in visually classifying a lesion as malignant or benign.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women with certain breast cancer risk factors including inherited genetic mutations, family or personal history of breast cancer, or previous radiation therapy to the chest receive an annual MRI screening in addition to their yearly mammogram.

During a breast MRI, which lasts about a half hour, the technician injects a contrast agent into a vein in the patient's arm. Over time, the contrast agent flows throughout the body, including the breasts. Because they are growing quickly, cancerous lesions often have immature vasculature, and the contrast agent flows in and "leaks" out quickly. Conversely, benign lesions show more gradual in and out flow.

"The tricky ones are the ones that enhance quickly and then fall off more slowly," says Wally Block, a UW-Madison associate professor of biomedical engineering and medical physics. "Many of these lesions turn out to be difficult to classify and lead to biopsy."

Yet, it turns out that with the right kind of MRI scan, radiologists can visually identify a cancerous lesion based on characteristics about its shape. For example, breaks or interruptions in a lesion can indicate a benign fibroadenoma. Lumps with smooth edges often are benign, while those with jagged edges can signal cancer.

To generate the kind of crisp, three-dimensional images necessary for such a diagnosis, Block, UW-Madison radiology associate professor Fred Kelcz and graduate student Catherine Moran are capitalizing on their unique MRI data-acquisition method.

An MR image is made up of thousands of smaller pieces of information. The conventional data-acquisition method gathers that information slowly, and it's designed to be viewed from a single imaging plane. "What people do now is they compromise," says Block. "They don't get resolution in the other planes to make it a reasonable scan time. We found a way around that."

With the team's powerful technique, an MRI machine acquires data radially and generates a high-resolution, three-dimensional image that radiologists can turn, slice and view from many perspectives enabling them to study a lesion's physical characteristics more carefully. Machines equipped with the technique also acquire more data in less time.

In addition, the method also makes it possible for radiologists to view fat images and water images separately, which is particularly useful because fat composes a large portion of the breast. "Rarely is disease associated with fat," says Block. "Most of the time radiologists are concentrating on water images, but sometimes our fat images of the breast are also useful. The boundaries of a lesion often stand out very clearly when embedded in fat."

Block and his colleagues currently are gathering data on the efficacy of the technique. They have tested the method on 20 patients at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and have shared it with colleagues at the University of Toronto for additional assessment. They also are working with Michigan State University researchers to test the technique.

Collaborating with Scott Reeder, a UW-Madison assistant professor of biomedical engineering and radiology, Block and colleagues also are refining ways to image both breasts simultaneously a development that could slash scan time and free valuable MRI space for additional patients. "If you have a screening procedure that you want people to participate in regularly, you want to make it convenient for them," says Block.


Contact: Walter Block
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Related biology technology :

1. New technique producing small things in large quantities
2. New DNA-based technique for assembly of nano- and micro-sized particles
3. NIH Announces Advanced Cell Technologys Single Cell Embryo Biopsy Technique as a Means to Derive Embryonic Stem Cells to be Considered for Federal Funding
4. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
5. University of Leicester scientists discover technique to help friendly bacteria
6. Glycominds Joins Biomolecular Photonic (BMP) Consortium to Develop New Molecular Imaging Technique
7. Doping technique brings nanomechanical devices into the semiconductor world
8. Cardica and Intuitive Surgical to Host Educational Symposium on Advanced Techniques and Technologies in Robotic Coronary Revascularization and Mitral Valve Repair
9. DNA technique yields 3-D crystalline organization of nanoparticles
10. Unique infrared technique finds applications in nanoscience
11. Assembly technique for tiny wires may eventually help detect cancer and other diseases
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock ... news release there are no corporate developments that would ... --> --> About ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought together ... their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, the ... title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , November 24, 2015 ... to a recent market research report released by Transparency ... projected to expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during ... "Non-invasive Prenatal Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... estimates the global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 ... an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member ... launch of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ ... to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging ... Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics software ... September 30, 2015.  --> --> ... a decrease of 33% compared to $6.0 million in the same ... was $2.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, which compared to ... a year ago.  --> --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):