Navigation Links
Breast CT Scanner Could Improve Cancer Screen Comfort

Researchers study system designed for diagnosis as way to treat disease

FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Breast computed tomography (CT) scans, already used experimentally to diagnose breast cancer, may also be able to treat it, a California researcher reports.

"Breast CT is superior to mammography for [detecting] masses," said John Boone, vice chair of research radiology at the University of California Davis. He presented information about the potential of breast CT for treatment this week at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine meeting, in Anaheim, Calif.

Since 2004, Boone has led a group of UC Davis researchers in developing the breast CT scan for diagnosing breast cancer in women. The technology's pluses, said Boone, include being more comfortable than conventional mammograms but just as safe.

More than 200 women have been scanned with the custom-designed breast CT prototype scanner, he said. The technology has not yet made its way into clinical practice, he said, but preliminary results look good. "Breast CT is still experimental for diagnosis," he said. But it is already looking to be more effective than traditional mammography at detecting breast masses.

More work needs to be done to find microcalcifications, tiny specks of calcium which don't always mean cancer is present but bear checking, he added.

Next, Boone hopes to use the breast CT scanner to guide interventional procedures such as a robotic biopsy, radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation to treat breast cancer.

With the breast CT scanner, a woman lies on her stomach, face down on the table while the breast drops through a hole in the table; the CT scanner then rotates around the breast. The position is considered more comfortable, especially for big-breasted women.

Boone hopes that the new scanner could be used to perform image-guided therapies such as the technique known as radiofrequency ablation. "It literally heats up the tissue, cooks the tumor and kills the tumor," he said. It may help some women avoid lumpectomy and follow-up radiation therapy.

"The concept is good," said Dr. Chika Madu, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

But she added a caveat that the energy level talked about by Boone may have to be adjusted. "It may come at a price of increased toxicity to the skin," she noted.

The technique may not work for all cancers or all women, she added. "In small-breasted women, not enough breast may come through the hole sufficiently [to treat]," she said. Cancer that is close to the chest wall rather than the nipple may not be treatable by this technique either, she said.

Even so, Madu said, "I think it's worth exploring."

Boone's study was funded partially by the industry, including Varian Medical Systems, Fuji Medical Systems and Hologic Corp.

In another presentation at the same meeting, Michael O'Connor, a professor of radiologic physics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., reported on molecular breast imaging (MBI), a new technique that uses gamma cameras designed for breast imaging.

"The devices look somewhat like a mammography unit," he said. A small amount of radioisotopes is given intravenously and is taken up by any tumors in the breasts, he said.

In a study of 1,000 patients, mammography picked up three cancers but MBI picked up 10, he said.

Next, O'Connor hopes to reduce the dose of radioisotopes and begin a clinical trial. The technique is expected to especially benefit women with dense breasts, for whom mammography is not as accurate at cancer detection.

Efforts to find ways to detect small cancers that can't be felt on exams should be stepped up, said Dr. Gary Whitman, a professor of radiology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Other studies suggest MBI has promise, he said, but O'Connor's finding "would need to be confirmed."

More information

To learn more about early detection of breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Michael O'Connor, Ph.D., medical physicist and professor, radiologic physics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Gary Whitman, M.D., professor, radiology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Chika Madu, M.D., radiation oncologist and assistant professor, radiation oncology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.; John M. Boone, Ph.D., professor and vice chair, research radiology, and professor, biomedical engineering, University of California Davis; July 28, 2009, presentations, American Association of Physicists in Medicine annual meeting, Anaheim, Calif.

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Chinese women join global breast cancer trial
2. Birdies for Breast Cancer Announces Fifth Annual Charity Golf Classic Hosted by Top Womens Golfer, Cristie Kerr
3. Huntsville, Alabama Plastic Surgeon David L. Durst, MD Comments on Silicone Breast Implants after Nearly 3 Years on the Open Market
4. Breast Cancer Drug May Beat Fungal Infection
5. Culture May Help Raise Breast Cancer Death Rate for American Indians
6. Breast cancer research highlights from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine meeting in Anaheim, July 26-30
7. Look Good...Feel Better Launches Salon Awareness Campaign During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
8. Elevated Insulin Levels Linked to Breast Cancer
9. Survey Reveals Women Arent Doing All They Can to Support Breast Health
10. HIV Drugs Provide Breast-Fed Babies With Some Protection
11. Nexavar in Combination with Chemotherapy Shown to Extend Progression-Free Survival in Patients with Advanced Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Breast CT Scanner Could Improve Cancer Screen Comfort
(Date:12/1/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... announces the Multi Jar, a container patent that allows for easier packing and organizing ... the US is worth $90 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Royal River Natural Foods — a locally-owned, independent natural health store in ... nutritional supplement creatine, along with resistance training for a year, had more new bone ... report is part of the December 2015 issue of Natural Insights for Well Being®, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that any ... plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial of coverage for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , one of ... iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging Design Awards, ... that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in the American ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Growth in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana slowed from ... care, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). ... payments per claim with more than seven days of lost time continued to be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 ... "Medium Molecular Weight Polyisobutylene Market for ... Applications - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Medium Molecular Weight Polyisobutylene ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, ... imaging software that produces high-contrast images for all anatomies ... grid, at the 2015 Radiological Society of North ... Philips, first digital imaging solution providing grid-like contrast improvement ... workflow and supports "first-time-right imaging" by decreasing the need ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  Athletic apparel company Tommie Copper ... pay $1.35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission ... compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain ... Tommie Copper,s proposed settlement ... its founder and chairman Thomas Kallish ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: