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3D Against Breast Cancer

Dr. Carl J. D'Orsi, M.D., from the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine and the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, both in Atlanta, GA,USA is testing a new stereoscopic 3D digital mammography technique that has the potential to significantly improve the accuracy of breast cancer screening.

Traditional 2D X-ray mammography, the current primary screening method for early detection of breast cancer in women, is a valuable tool but has some limitations. Surrounding normal tissue can mask lesions, and 2D views do not provide direct information about the volumetric appearance of a detected lesion.

The novel technique called stereoscopic digital mammography (SDM) addresses these limitations by mimicking the way that human eyes work together to form a stereoscopic 3D image. Digital mammography equipment has been modified to allow the X-ray tube to move separately from the signal receiving plate. The resulting images are viewed on a 3D passive PLANAR monitor. SDM has the ability to identify lesions at different depths within the breast volume, potentially reducing both false positive findings and recalls while enabling more accurate diagnosis.

 3D-Mammogram 250px
A stereoscopic 3D mammogram

 Research and Facts

Dr. D'Orsi and colleagues recently compared SDM to 2D digital mammography in 779 patients at elevated risk of developing breast cancer because of personal or family history. Patients received both exams in a single visit, and two experienced radiologists independently interpreted the final total of 1,298 exams.

Imaging findings were correlated with results of one-year follow up or biopsy. SDM significantly improved the accuracy of cancer detection. The specificity of 91.2 percent was better than the 87.8 percent rate for 2-D digital mammography; and the accuracy of 90.9 percent, compared with 87.4 percent for 2-D digital mammography, was also a statistically significant improvement. "We found that the stereoscopic technique could significantly decrease the need for calling women back for additional exams," Dr. D'Orsi said.

3D-Mammogram Observation 250px
Observation of a 3D mammogram on a PLANAR 3D passive display

Reference

"Stereoscopic Digital Mammography: Improved Specificity and Reduced Rate of Recall in a Prospective Clinical Trial." Collaborating with Dr. D'Orsi were David J. Getty, Ph.D., Ronald M. Pickett, Ph.D., Ioannis Sechopoulos, Ph.D., Mary S. Newell, M.D., Kathleen R. Gundry, M.D., Sandra R. Bates, M.D., Robert M. Nishikawa, Ph.D., Edward A. Sickles, M.D., Andrew Karellas, Ph.D., and Ellen M. D'Orsi, R.T. (R)(M).

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

For patient-friendly information on breast imaging, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Source: ScienceCodex, SIIMCenter, Radiological Society of North America.