Feature | May 21, 2015

MRI Shows Potential to Improve Breast Cancer Risk Prediction

breast MRI, breast cancer, risk prediction, Rahbar

May 21, 2015 — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides important information about a woman’s future risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study published in Radiology. Researchers said the findings support an expanded role for MRI in more personalized approaches to breast cancer screening and prevention.

The new study focused on the relationship between imaging features and cancer risk in women who already face a high risk of breast cancer because of family history, genetic mutations associated with the disease or other factors. In prior studies, dense breast tissue, or tissue that contains more fibroglandular tissue than fatty tissue, has been linked to an increased likelihood of breast cancer development.

“To date, it’s been difficult to assess the future risk of breast cancer for women, so there is a strong desire in the oncology community to identify ways to better determine this risk,” said study co-author Habib Rahbar, M.D., a breast imaging expert at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and assistant professor at the University of Washington. “While breast density is loosely associated with the risk of developing breast cancer, it is unclear whether it or other imaging features can improve upon current risk assessment methods.”

Contrast-enhanced MRI is one potential tool that is already used as an imaging option to supplement mammography in high-risk women. Current American Cancer Society guidelines recommend that women with a 20 percent or greater lifetime risk of developing breast cancer undergo annual screening breast MRIs in addition to routine annual screening mammography.

In the new study, Rahbar and colleagues reviewed screening breast MR images from high-risk women 18 years or older with no history of breast cancer who were screened at their institution from January 2006 to December 2011.

The researchers looked for any associations between cancer risk and imaging features, including breast density and background parenchymal enhancement (BPE). BPE is a phenomenon in which areas of normal background breast tissue appear white, or enhanced, on the MR images. The precise reasons for this enhancement are not clear, but previous research has suggested a possible link to cancer risk.

The results showed that women who displayed elevated amounts of BPE on MRI were nine times more likely to have a breast cancer diagnosis during the study follow-up interval than those who exhibited no or minimal BPE. In contrast, mammographic density appeared to have no significant relationship to cancer risk in the study group.

The findings suggest that BPE could potentially help physicians better tailor screening and management strategies to each individual’s breast cancer risk. Currently, women at high risk for breast cancer have various options, including supplementing screening mammography with MRI, prevention therapy with tamoxifen — a drug that blocks estrogen activity in the breast — and preventive mastectomies. If validated in larger studies, BPE could provide more information to help guide these important decisions.

“MRI could be used in a broader group of women to determine who most needs supplemental screening based on their BPE levels,” Rahbar said. “This is important as we move into an era of more personalized medicine.”

The researchers are working to validate the findings in a larger group of patients and are planning additional research to understand more about why BPE may serve as a biomarker of breast cancer risk. One theory is that BPE is related to areas of inflammation associated with early stages of the disease.

“Breast cancer needs a supportive environment to grow, and recent research suggests that areas of inflammation are particularly conducive for such growth,” Rahbar said.

For more information: www.radiologyinfo.org

Related Content

Carestream Launches MR Brain Perfusion and Diffusion Modules for Vue PACS
Technology | Advanced Visualization | August 16, 2017
Carestream Health recently introduced new MR (magnetic resonance) Brain Perfusion and MR Brain Diffusion modules that...
ISMRM Issues Guidelines for MRI Gadolinium Contrast Agents
News | Contrast Media | August 15, 2017
The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) has provided new guidance in the use of contrast...
MRI Reveals Striking Brain Differences in People with Genetic Autism

Example images for a control participant , a deletion carrier, and a duplication carrier. In the sagittal image of the deletion carrier, the thick corpus callosum, dens and craniocervical abnormality, and cerebellar ectopia are shown. For the duplication carrier, the sagittal image shows the thin corpus callosum and the axial image shows the increased ventricle size and decreased white matter volume. Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

News | Neuro Imaging | August 09, 2017
August 9, 2017 — In the first major study of its kind, researchers using magnetic...
GE Healthcare's Signa Premier MRI Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 04, 2017
GE Healthcare announced Signa Premier, a new wide bore 3.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, is now available...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
brain with chronic traumatic injury
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 02, 2017
Fighters are exposed to repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which has been associated with neurodegenerative...
The ASPIRE Cristalle FFDM system with DBT combines Fujifilm’s state-of-the-art hexagonal close pattern (HCP) detector design, advanced image processing and image acquisition workflow
News | Women's Health | August 01, 2017
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc. announced that The Mammography Center of Monterey, an ACR-accredited breast...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
Overlay Init