News | February 25, 2011

Breast Cancer Screening With MRI Benefits Women with Radiation Therapy History

February 25, 2011 – Breast cancer screening with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect invasive cancers missed on mammography in women who’ve undergone chest irradiation for other diseases, according to a new study in Radiology.

Women who receive radiation therapy as children and young adults for diseases such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma face a significantly greater risk of breast cancer later in life. The incidence of breast cancer increases approximately eight years after chest irradiation, and 13 percent to 20 percent of women treated with moderate- to high-dose chest irradiation for a pediatric cancer will be diagnosed with breast cancer by age 40 to 45. In comparison, the cumulative incidence of invasive breast cancer by age 45 among women in the general population is only 1 percent.

“MRI’s efficacy as an adjunct to mammography in screening women at high risk because of genetic mutation or family history has been established,” said the study’s lead author Janice S. Sung, M.D., radiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City. “However, there were no reports in the literature about utility of MRI screening in women who are at high risk specifically due to prior chest irradiation.”

In the study, Sung and colleagues reviewed screening breast MRIs performed at MSKCC between January 1999 and December 2008 on women with a history of chest irradiation. They looked at data from 247 screening breast MRIs in 91 women, with a focus on the number of cancers diagnosed, the method of detection and the tumor characteristics.

Of the 10 cancers found during the study period, four were detected with MRI alone, three with MRI and mammography, and three with mammography alone. The four cancers detected with MRI alone were invasive, while the three cancers detected with mammography alone were in their early stages.

The addition of MRI to the screening process resulted in a 4.4 percent incremental cancer detection rate. A combination of MRI and mammography produced the highest sensitivity for detecting breast cancers.

“Our results support existing recommendations for annual screening MRI as an adjunct to annual mammography in women with a history of chest irradiation,” Sung said.

Despite clear evidence of MRI’s benefits, previous research by study co-author Kevin Oeffinger, M.D., showed that very few women ages 40 to 50 with a history of chest irradiation had undergone screening breast MRIs. Lack of awareness and limited insurance coverage are possible reasons, according to Sung. MRI is also considerably more expensive than mammography.

“We hope our study and other research will bring more attention to the fact that MRI helps detect more cancers,” Sung said. “We would like to see more high-risk patients undergo screening MRI.”

For more information: http://radiology.rsna.org

Related Content

CT Decision Instrument Reliably Guides Pediatric Blunt Trauma imaging Decisions

This is a four-site prospective observational cohort. Image courtesy of Kirsty Challen, B.Sc., MBCHB, MRES, Ph.D., Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, United Kingdom.

News | Clinical Decision Support | July 18, 2018
A new study finds The Pediatric NEXUS Head Computed Tomography (CT) Decision Instrument (DI) reliably identifies blunt...
Study Points to Need for Performance Standards for EHR Usability and Safety
News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | July 18, 2018
A novel new study provides compelling evidence that the design, development and implementation of electronic health...
Artificial Intelligence Provides Faster, Clearer MRI Scans

A new artificial-intelligence-based approach to image reconstruction, called AUTOMAP, yields higher quality images from less data, reducing radiation doses for CT and PET and shortening scan times for MRI. Shown here are MR images reconstructed from the same data with conventional approaches, at left, and AUTOMAP, at right. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

News | Artificial Intelligence | July 17, 2018
A research team with funding from the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has...
Study Shows Biomarker Panel Boosts Lung Cancer Risk Assessment for Smokers
News | Lung Cancer | July 16, 2018
A four-protein biomarker blood test improves lung cancer risk assessment over existing guidelines that rely solely upon...
Breast Cancer Follow-up Imaging Varies Widely
News | Breast Imaging | July 13, 2018
July 13, 2018 — Follow-up imaging for women...
iSchemaView Brings RAPID Imaging Platform to Australia and New Zealand
News | Stroke | July 13, 2018
iSchemaView has signed Diagnostic Imaging Australia (DIA) to be the exclusive distributor for the RAPID cerebrovascular...
Lack of Insurance Coverage Delaying Proton Therapy Clinical Trials
News | Proton Therapy | July 12, 2018
Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard of cancer research and can shed light on whether innovative, new...
Breast Cancer Studies Ignore Race, Socioeconomic Factors
News | Women's Health | July 11, 2018
A new commentary appearing in the July issue of Cancer Causes & Control points to evidence that social factors help...
High-Strength MRI May Release Mercury from Amalgam Dental Fillings
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | July 05, 2018
Exposure to ultra-high-strength magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may release toxic mercury from amalgam fillings in...
Overlay Init