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Moffitt Cancer Center researchers develop automated breast density test linked to cancer risk
Date:2/1/2013

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.


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Contact: Kim Polacek
kim.polacek@moffitt.org
813-745-7408
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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