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Study: Emerging AI Platform for DBT Shows 23 Percent Increase in Breast Cancer Detection Rate


In a recent video interview, Kathy Schilling, M.D., discussed findings from a study of ProFound AI, an adjunctive artificial intelligence (AI) software for digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), that demonstrated a 23 percent increase in breast cancer detection in comparison to DBT alone.

In a study involving over 100,000 digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) screening exams, researchers found the use of ProFoundAI (iCAD), an adjunctive artificial intelligence (AI) software for digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), increased sensitivity by 5 percent, increased the positive predictive value by 23 percent and increased the breast cancer detection rate by 23 percent for nine fellowship-trained breast radiologists with an average of 22 years of experience.

In a recent interview, Kathy Schilling, M.D., a co-author of the study, conceded a fair amount of surprise with the results.

“We have nine dedicated breast radiologists. That is all we do: mammography and breast imaging studies. We thought we were pretty good. It was really quite interesting and surprising that everyone improved their cancer detection by using the ProFound AI (software),” noted Dr. Schilling, the medical director of the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida.

Dr. Schilling pointed out these increases were achieved without an increase in recall rate.

“We’re not calling more patients back to find more cancers. We’re actually finding more cancers that we may have missed if we (did not) have the use of the ProFound AI,” added Dr. Schilling, who recently presented the study findings at the European Congress of Radiology.

(Editor’s note: For related content, see “Large Mammography Study Reaffirms Benefits of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis,” “Study: AI Improves Cancer Detection Rate for Digital Mammography and Digital Breast Tomosynthesis” and “FDA Issues Final Rule on National Breast Density Notification for Mammography Reports.”)

In a time of significantly increased imaging volume, Dr. Schilling said the ProFound AI software refocuses radiologists to detecting smaller cancers that may have otherwise gone undetected. In the study, she noted the researchers were diagnosing invasive lobular carcinoma, which commonly presents as architectural distortions, down to three to five millimeters in size.

For more insights from Dr. Schilling, watch the video below.

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