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    Home > Research & Grants > Grants Program > Research Grants > Research Grants Awarded > Abstract
    Awarded Grants
    Identification and Differentiation of Breast Masses by a Novel Imaging Method

    Scientific Abstract:
    Background: Currently, a large number of patients with suspicious breast masses identified as BI-RADS 4 and 5 undergo biopsy, more than half of which turn out to be benign. The huge number false positive cases results in an enormous unnecessary cost plus psychological and physical trauma to patients. To avoid such biopsies, one needs an imaging modality that can reliably detect breast masses and better differentiate between the benign and malignant lesions. Lesion stiffness has been recognized as an important factor in differentiating between malignant and benign masses. Thus, imaging methods that are sensitive to tissue stiffness are of great interest for breast imaging. Vibro-acoustography (VA) is a new imaging method that uses ultrasound in a fundamentally new way to produce images that are sensitive to tissue stiffness. In this method, the tissue is vibrated at low frequencies. Tissue motion, which is a function of its stiffness, is used to produce high-resolution, high-contrast, and speckle free images. In preliminary studies, we have demonstrated that VA can be used in vivo, and can detect mass lesions in tissue samples. Such images show malignant lesions with enhanced borders and rough textures. Objective/Hypothesis: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the performance of VA for detection of mass lesions in human breast. Our hypothesis is that VA can be used to detect lesions identified as BI-RADS 4/5. We also hypothesize that using VA, one can distinguish between benign and malignant masses. Specific Aims: (1) Studying in vivo detection of breast lesions by VA. (2) Evaluating the performance of VA in differentiating between benign and malignant masses identified as BI-RADS 4/5. Study Design: VA images will be obtained on a number of patients with breast masses identified as BI-RADS 4/5 before they are biopsied. In a blinded fashion, VA images will be evaluated to detect and locate lesions in the VA scan. The results will be compared to the a priori clinical information to determine the success rate of VA in mass lesion detection and localization. In another blinded study, the capability of VA images in differentiating between the benign and malignant lesions will be determined and compared to biopsy results. Potential Outcomes and Benefits: Successful completion of this research will open the way for a new class of imaging tool for improved detection and differentiation of breast masses, which will eventually help in better diagnosis of breast cancer.

    Lay Abstract:
    Background: Every year, a large number of patients with suspicious breast masses undergo biopsy, most of which turn out to be benign. The huge number of false positive cases results in an enormous and unnecessary cost. There is also psychological and physical trauma to patients. To avoid such unnecessary biopsies, one needs an imaging tool that can reliably detect breast masses and better differentiate between the benign and cancerous masses. It is known that cancerous breast masses are harder than the benign ones. Therefore, scientists have been tying to develop imaging tools that are sensitive to tissue stiffness. This research project is evaluating a new imaging method called Vibro-acoustography (VA) that can produce images that are sensitive to tissue stiffness. This method uses ultrasound in a new way to slowly vibrate the tissue. Tissue motion, which is a function of its stiffness, is used to produce high-resolution, high-contrast images that are free from the snowy patterns seen in conventional ultrasound images. In earlier studies, we have demonstrated that VA can be used to image human breasts; also, it can be used to detect mass lesions. Such images show cancerous lesions with enhanced borders and rough textures. Objective/Hypothesis: The purpose of this research is to study the performance of VA for detection of mass lesions in human breast. Our hypothesis is that VA can be used to detect breast masses. We also hypothesize that VA can distinguish between benign and cancerous masses. Aims: Our aims in this research are to detect breast lesions in human breasts using VA, and to test VA as a tool for differentiating between benign and cancerous masses. Study Design: We will acquire VA image of a number of patients with suspicious breast masses before biopsy. VA images will be evaluated to detect and locate masses in the VA image. We will then compare the results to the clinical information to determine the success rate of VA in detection and localization of such masses. In another study, the capability of VA images in differentiating between the benign and cancerous lesions will be determined. To do this, we will compare our observations from VA images to the biopsy results. Potential Outcomes and Benefits: Successful completion of this research will open the way for a new class of imaging tool for improved detection and differentiation of breast masses, which will eventually help in better diagnosis of breast cancer.