5 November 2019

One out of seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their life. Early detection of breast cancer is important to increase the survival rate. Under the supervision of Chris de Korte, researcher Gijs Hendriks (Radboudumc Nijmegen) graduated recently on a new technique, 3D elastography, to improve breast cancer detection.

The most commonly used method in breast cancer detection is mammography. However, mammography is less suitable in women with relatively more glandular tissue (dense breast). Around 44% of the women have dense breast. As alternative, 3-D ultrasound imaging can be used to detect breast cancer. The sonographer collects ultrasound images while the ultrasound probe moves over the breast. Afterwards, the radiologist can evaluate the ultrasound images. Gijs Hendriks developed a technique called 3-D elastography which can ‘feel’ stiff structures in soft surrounding breast tissue using the already collected 3-D ultrasound images. Malignant cancers are often stiffer and less mobile compared to benign lesions which are softer and mobile. The radiologist can better discriminate between benign and malignant lesions by measuring stiffness and mobility of lesions. In this way, unnecessary biopsies can be prevented. In his research he developed and validated this technique in computational models, breast phantoms and patient studies.

Gijs Hendriks and Chris de Korte are members of theme Vascular damage.

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