RAI Labs Duke
Breast Tomo Clinical Trial | Chest Stereo/BCE Clinical Trial | Chest Tomo Clinical Trial
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Digital Tomosynthesis Imaging of the Breast

Breast Tomosynthesis (or "tomo" for short) is one of the most exciting research developments in radiology in recent years. We acquire x-ray images taken from many different angles, then use that data to reconstruct 3D images of the breast. Breast tomo lets radiologists detect and characterize suspicious lesions better, because it removes overlapping normal tissue which might otherwise obscure the lesions. The goal is to provide 3D information at the same high
Prototype Breast
Tomosynthesis System
resolution and reasonable doseas mammography, while possibly reducing compression for improved patient comfort. Since the system will be based on digital mammography, it will also be faster and cheaper than alternatives requiring dedicated equipment such as CT or MR. For these reasons, breast tomo may be the first technique that can actually replace mammography in the near future, providing improved sensitivity and specificity of
breast cancer diagnosis.

Many members of RAILabs contribute to this interdisciplinary team including Joseph Lo, Jim Dobbins, Ehsan Samei, and Georgia Tourassi. We are collaborating with Siemens Healthcare, a major industrial partner providing us with prototype hardware and invaluable scientific assistance.

The photo to the right shows the prototype breast tomo system with the x-ray tube at the end of its 50 degree scan arc (+25 degrees from middle position).

Below are some preliminary images from our on-going studies. This subject presented with a very subtle architectural distortion as shown in the standard mammogram (left). Even with the magnification view, the mass is still very subtle (middle). The tomo scan easily reveals a spiculated mass which was later biopsied to reveal invasive ductal carcinoma (right).

 

Mammogram shows very subtle architectural distortion (arrow).

Magnification view shows mass which is still very subtle (arrow).

Tomosynthesis slice image revealed obvious spiculated mass, biopsy revealed invasive cancer (arrow).

Duke was the first site for the Siemens breast tomo system, and we are actively pursuing multiple studies ranging from physics optimization to clinical trials. This work is funded by NIH and Siemens (PI Joseph Lo) as well as other organizations. To date we have accrued over 300 human subjects.
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