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Mammo Plus Tomo Increases Breast Cancer Detection Rate

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Mammography plus tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening results in a significantly higher cancer detection rate than with mammography alone.

Mammography plus tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening results in a significantly higher cancer detection rate than with mammography alone, according to a study published online on January 7, in the journal Radiology.

Using a prospective, reader- and modality-balanced screening study, researchers from Norway sought to compare breast cancer detection rates and false-positive rates among women who underwent mammography alone or with tomosynthesis screening, using Hologic’s 3-D technology. The researchers analyzed the results from 12,631 examinations, performed between November 22, 2010 and December 31, 2011.

Using 3-D tomosynthesis in combination with 2-D mammography, researchers found a 40 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers, a 27 percent increase in detection of all cancers, and a 15 percent decrease in false-positives.

Cancer detection rates were 6.1 per 1,000 examinations for mammography alone, but were 8.0 per 1,000 examinations when tomosynthesis was also performed. Researchers noted that before arbitration, false-positive rates were 61.1 per 1,000 examinations with mammography alone, dropping to 53.1 per 1,000 when tomosynthesis was also performed.

Researchers also reported that cancer detection was increased across all breast tissue densities, and there was no increase in the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ, which some raise concerns about being over-diagnosed.

The authors concluded that using both mammography and tomosynthesis together aided in detection of significantly more tumors and invasive cancers.

Hologic called the study “groundbreaking,” noting that several major papers recently have reported the value of tomosynthesis. “The Oslo trial is the first large-scale prospective study to show the additional cancers found with 3-D mammography in combination with 2-D mammography were invasive cancers - the very type of cancers we want to detect and treat early,” Rob Cascella, Hologic’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

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