The American College of Radiology (ACR), in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and GE Healthcare, is about to launch the Contrast-Enhanced Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (CMIST). The trial aims to ascertain whether contrast-enhanced mammography increases breast cancer detection and lowers false positives in women with dense breasts.
Dense breasts account for 43% of women, ages 40 to 72 — making detection of breast cancer more challenging for almost half of all women when using mammography alone.
CEM is an imaging procedure that pairs mammography with vascular-based screening methods to yield a fast, simple way to detect unusual blood flow patterns within the breast. These patterns may be indicative of a malignancy. Earlier CEM studies in women with dense breast show promise in identifying breast cancer.
The project’s principal investigator, Christopher Comstock, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, comments, “The CMIST Trial can help determine if contrast-enhanced mammography can provide a more sensitive and specific method for breast cancer screening in women with dense breasts, finding many cancers missed with our current methods.”
Women with dense breasts often encounter long waits and agonizing anxiety while awaiting answers for a pending diagnosis. Catherine Lezy, General Manager for Mammography at GE Healthcare, says, “We hope that CEM will help clinicians feel more confident in their diagnosis and help patients get the answers they deserve.”
Dorraya El-Ashry, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, comments, “Given recent trends in the rising incidence of breast cancer, it is a key imperative to improve current diagnostic tools. We know that early detection is a key determinant of survival, and improving diagnostic technology for women with dense breasts will undoubtedly save lives.”
The American College of Radiology, founded in 1923, is at the forefront of radiology evolution, representing more than 41,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists.