This $100M Mammography Trial Has Made A Comeback After Pandemic Slow Down

After the enrollment numbers lowered due to the pandemic, a high-profile imaging trial backed by the National Cancer Institute saw a massive rebound in the in the final quarter of 2020.

The American College of Radiology reported that the trial, called Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, or TMIST, enrolled more participants than all other cancer institute trials combined since July 1.

In 2017 the trial began and aimed to compare digital breast tomosynthesis with older technology, 2D specifically. Now, after 2020, that tally has reached 37,893 participants, with an impressive 20% participation rate among Black enrollees in the U.S.

Originally, TMIST’s pre-pandemic ambitions were to enroll 165,000 by the end of 2020. The trial struggled to enlist sites and patients, with many radiologists already convinced that DBT is superior to 2D mammography, Medscape reported.

After the low output, the National Cancer Institute had even been set to review funding plans for TMIST. However, study lead Etta Pisano, MD, said at the time that the college had no plans of suspending the trial.

ACR blogged about TMIST’s year-end uptake and the impact they hope it will have on health and equity.

“I think we—as radiologists—should be proud of our efforts to move medicine forward and ensure that underserved communities are not left behind as healthcare advances,” wrote Pamela Woodard, MD, chair of the college’s commission on research.

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