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Are improved outcomes after initial implementation of digital breast tomosynthesis sustainable?

A new study of breast cancer screening published online by JAMA Oncology suggests 3D digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) outcomes were sustainable with significant reduction in patient recall, increasing cancer cases per recalled patients and a decline in interval cancers. Emily F. Conant, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, and coauthors analyzed screening mammography metrics for all patients presenting for screening at an urban breast center over four years.

Screenings were performed during the year prior and the three consecutive years after the center converted from digital mammography to DBT screening in September 2011. In the year prior to the conversion, women underwent imaging with digital mammography alone; after the conversion women were screened with DBT imaging that consisted of two-view digital mammography and two-view DBT of each breast. The study included 44,468 screening events for 23,958 women.

The authors call their results “an important initial step toward informing policies for possibly integrating this technology into population-screening programs,” the study concludes.

Article: Effectiveness of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Compared With Digital Mammography Outcomes Analysis From 3 Years of Breast Cancer Screening, Elizabeth S. McDonald, MD, PhD; Andrew Oustimov, MPH; Susan P. Weinstein, MD; Marie B. Synnestvedt, PhD; Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD; Emily F. Conant, MD, JAMA Oncology, doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5536, published online 18 February 2016.

The study includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Editorial: Digital Breast Tomosynthesis A Brave New World of Mammography Screening, Nehmat Houssami, MBBS, FAFPHM, PhD; Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, JAMA Oncology, doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5569, published online 18 February 2016.