New software aids breast cancer risk assessment

May 9, 2014, Asociacion RUVID
Rafael Llobet (UPV) and Josefa Miranda (FISABIO)

Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València, in collaboration with the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Foundation for the Health and Biomedical Research of the Comunitat Valenciana, have developed DMScan, new software to aid breast cancer risk assessment. From the images obtained in mammograms, the software objectively quantifies breast density, a value directly related to the risk of this pathology.

"The breast is basically composed of adipose tissue and fibroglandular tissue; the density is the proportion of the latter to the breast size. Our software quantifies this value, distinguishing dense tissue from fat tissue. It offers a continuous and much more objective measurement than the doctors give today, based on a visual inspection. This is therefore a new aid to breast cancer diagnosis," says Rafael Llobet, researcher at the Computer Technology Institute (ITI, in Spanish) of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

The software can work in automatic and assisted mode. In the latter, the user can adjust different parameters associated to the density calculation. "So far, the assisted read-out, done by an expert radiologist, provides better-quality information, but the availability of an automatic read-out is of great interest in an initial assessment of density when processing a large number of mammogram," states Rafael Llobet.

Shape recognition, learning and computer vision

DMScan incorporates , automatic learning and computer vision techniques. It also includes a statistical model created from a database of 650 mammograms, which allows it to classify new tests. "We use these images in order to train the system, as reference standards, so when a new mammogram is introduced into the system it can compare it to that corpus and classify it," explains Rafael Llobet.

Research

Besides its medical application, DMScan is interesting for research purposes and for studies related to from a large number of images. "For example, if breast density could be related to a certain genotype", adds Rafael Llobet.

About breast cancer

According to the study of the researchers from the UPV, FISABIO and ISCIII, "women with denser breasts have more . However, it must be taken into account that breast density decreases with age and with the , two factors also related to the probability of having and that have been taken into account in this work".

Breast cancer is the malignant tumour with the highest incidence in women from around the world, with more than 1,6 million new cases diagnosed every year. In Spain, there are more than 25.000 new diagnoses every year. Despite the high survival rate from this tumour, it still causes more than 6.000 deaths every year among Spanish women.

Explore further: Breast cancer risk related to changes in breast density as women age

More information: Llobet, R., Pollán, M. Antón, J., Miranda-García, J., Casals, M., Martínez, I., Ruiz-Perales, F., Pérez-Gómez, B., Salas-Trejo, D., Pérez-Cortés, J.-C. "Semi-automated and fully automated mammographic density measurement and breast cancer risk prediction." Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2014.01.021

Related Stories

Breast cancer risk related to changes in breast density as women age

December 3, 2013
Automated breast density measurement is predictive of breast cancer risk in younger women, and that risk may be related to the rate at which breast density changes in some women as they age, according to research being presented ...

Breast cancer patients with high density mammograms do not have increased risk of death

September 7, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—High mammographic breast density, which is a marker of increased risk of developing breast cancer, does not seem to increase the risk of death among breast cancer patients, according to a study led by Gretchen ...

Following mammography, physicians must notify of breast density, NY law states

January 18, 2013
A New York state law that goes into effect Jan. 19, 2013, could impact up to half of all women who get annual mammograms, according to Avice O'Connell, M.D., director of Women's Imaging at the University of Rochester Medical ...

The role of fat in assessing breast cancer risk

October 26, 2011
It is known that a high proportion of dense breast tissue, as seen with a mammogram, is associated with a high risk of breast cancer. But the role of non-dense fat tissue in the breast is less clear. New research published ...

Breast density does not influence breast cancer death among breast cancer patients

August 20, 2012
The risk of dying from breast cancer was not related to high mammographic breast density in breast cancer patients, according to a study published August 20 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Mammograms reveal response to common cancer drug

April 22, 2013
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a method for assessing the effect of tamoxifen, a common drug to prevent the relapse of breast cancer. The key lies in monitoring changes in the proportion of dense tissue, ...

Recommended for you

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

Pancreatic tumors may require a one-two-three punch

January 15, 2018
One of the many difficult things about pancreatic cancer is that tumors are resistant to most treatments because of their unique density and cell composition. However, in a new Wilmot Cancer Institute study, scientists discovered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.