With breast now the most common cancer
among women and the second most common cancer overall, imaging research is
exploring ways to develop new tools that include better screening, improved
models and even cost-effectiveness, to help overcome the challenges from the
growing demand in the sector.
The European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) hosted a comprehensive panel of speakers during a joint session with the European Union-funded ASSURE programme on the sidelines of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR2016) in Vienna, where discussion varied from density patterns and risks arising from masking in screening mammograms, to novel ultrasound and MRI technologies for breast cancer technologies.
Dr Niko Karssemeijer (Nijmegen, Netherlands) posed the question that every radiologist is asking: “How can we improve the workflow of screening exams?”
He suggested introducing better registration methods, finding corresponding locations, computer aided detection, and better positioning during imaging.
On the other hand, Ewan Gray from Manchester, analysed breast cancer risk and masking risk-based stratification protocols, which, he said, were the key drivers of cost-effectiveness.
“Balancing cost against benefits is a reality and we are using risk estimation tools. This is a complex issue, but we can do better than we currently do,” Gray said.
He added that there is a lot of data and many models to choose from, but what is probably needed is to develop a model based on real-world trials.
Jeroen van den Laark introduced the point of view pathologists, not unrelated to radiologists, because ‘big data’ and growing demand for better digital imagery is putting a strain on hospital resources and their IT infrastructure.
“Computer aided diagnosis can help pathologists make better business decision,” but he added that better cooperation and sharing of resources is mandatory to avoid such imaging becoming a major strain on resources, both technological and financial.