Grant funding for research into 3D breast imaging

A clinical trial to examine the clinical and cost effectiveness of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, a type of mammography that creates 3D images of the breasts, has received funding through a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant.

There are a number of Tomosynthesis research projects being investigated as part of the MRFF grant, and Maroondah BreastScreen service is leading one of these.

The team at Maroondah BreastScreen will analyse and report on data collected during the screening trial of 10,000 clients at the service in 2017 and 2018, during which half of the group received 3D mammography and the other half received 2D mammography. They will look at interval cancer data as well as breast density information.

The research is being led by Professor Nehmat Houssami at Sydney University’ School of Public Health in collaboration with Maroondah BreastScreen’s Director and Chief Radiologist Dr Darren Lockie and Program Manager Michelle Clemson.

Dr Lockie said, “This funding will enable crucial analysis of our data and contribute important information towards the efficacy and cost effectiveness of 3D mammography, as well as provide the evidence base to inform government decision-making around breast screening.”

Professor Houssami said, “We will be evaluating the clinical effect, the accuracy and other outcomes such as biopsy rates, of using DBT instead of standard mammography in women at increased risk of breast cancer.”

“We want to collect new evidence in these groups, including from the Australian setting, to identify whether DBT may be more effective than standard imaging in any of these groups, and to provide this information to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to help guide policy decisions.”

The MRFF is a $20 billion long-term investment supporting Australian health and medical research. It aims to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.