Study compares 2D, 3D mammography for breast cancer

Sept. 26 (UPI) — Researchers are enrolling women in the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, or TMIST, to compare 2D and 3D mammography for breast cancer.

Researchers theorize that although the newer 3D mammography is likely to detect more findings that would require follow-up, more procedures and more treatments. It is unknown if 3D mammography reduces a woman’s risk of developing a life-threatening cancer compared to 2D mammography.

“We need to determine if 3-D mammography is better than 2-D at finding the sort of breast cancers that are most likely to spread and kill women,” ECOG-ACRIN study chair Dr. Etta D. Pisano, vice chair of research in the Department of Radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor in residence of radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, said in a press release. “If a newer screening technology does not reduce the numbers of advanced, life-threatening cancers, then are we really improving screening for breast cancer?”

The TMIST was developed by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

TMIST is looking for healthy women ages 45 to 74 who are already planning on having routine mammograms. Researchers are seeking 165,000 planned participants to test the effectiveness of two types of digital mammography, tomosynthesis or 3D and conventional or 2D.

TMIST plans to include 100 mammography clinics throughout the United States, with women being informed of the trial and the opportunity to enroll when they schedule routine mammograms. Researchers are also working with several Canadian clinics that enrolled more than 3,000 women in a previous lead-in study that has helped researchers design TMIST.

“Nearly 50 million screening mammograms occur each year in the United States, yet it has been decades since a large-scale randomized trial of mammography has been done,” said Dr. Worta McCaskill-Stevens, director of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program. “The evolution of mammography technology provides us with an opportunity to fill in the gaps in our knowledge about two available breast cancer screening tests.”


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