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Northeastern University and Mass General Hospital Increase the Accuracy, While Reducing the Diagnosis Time, for Breast Cancer Detection
Date:2/26/2008

Research teams solve the computational hurdle using Star-P

WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the Northeastern University Computer Architecture Research Lab (NUCAR) and the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS) are teaming with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) on a promising new breast cancer detection technology that improves breast cancer screening accuracy. The team is applying new supercomputing technology to a 30-year-old imaging modality called tomosynthesis, which until now has been relegated to research labs due to its massive and expensive computational requirements.

Called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), the system creates a 3D image of the breast using a series of x-ray projections collected during a 20- second, 40-degree sweep. It makes cancer lesions easier to detect among dense breast tissue by creating a stack of 1mm spaced high-resolution slices that can be displayed individually, or assembled into a 3D view that can be rendered for more careful examination. DBT also reduces the amount of breast compression required by traditional mammography, which can deter women from getting an annual screening.

NUCAR scientists addressed this computational hurdle by creating a DBT reconstruction application on their desktop PCs using MATLAB(R), and then running the code on an affordable Linux parallel cluster using Star-P software from Interactive Supercomputing, Inc. (ISC). Reconstructing DBT used to take many hours. With this new Star-P approach, imaging reconstruction can be completed in just a few minutes. The complicated parallel programming task has been dramatically simplified using Star-P, slashing development time from many months to days.

General Electric is developing a commercial DBT device that should be generally available in 2009. The Northeastern team has been supported by a NSF Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) pro
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SOURCE Interactive Supercomputing
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