Monmouth Medical Center has participated in a national breast
cancer screening trial conducted by the American College of
Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), the results of which were
recently released to the public. According to results from
the ACRIN Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST),
digital mammography detected up to 28% more cancers than screen
film mammography in women age 50 and younger, premenopausal
and perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts. The
results showed no difference between digital and film mammography
in detecting breast cancer for the general population of women.
The trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) included
researchers at 33 sites across the United States and Canada,
of which Monmouth Medical Center was one of only two in New
The results of the study were reported September 16, 2005 in
a special online publication of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The DMIST trial is one of the largest breast cancer screening
studies ever performed. At Monmouth Medical Center, researchers
enrolled 700 women in the study.
Melinda J. Staiger, M.D., medical director of the Jacqueline
M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center,
who helped coordinate the trial locally, said, “The groups
of women who may benefit from digital technology are those in
which standard mammography has been less effective. These results
will give clinicians better guidance and greater choice in deciding
which women would benefit most from various forms of mammography.”
“Of particular interest, the cancers detected only by
digital mammography are the types of cancers that must be detected
early to save more lives through screening,” she added.
The Center for Statistical Sciences at Brown Medical School
developed the study’s statistical design and analyzed the
results. Starting in October 2001, DMIST enrolled 49,528 women
at 33 sites in the United States and Canada who had no signs
of breast cancer. Women in the trial were given both digital
and film mammograms. Mammograms were interpreted independently
by two different radiologists. Breast cancer status of DMIST
participants was determined through available breast biopsy information
within 15 months of study entry or through follow-up mammography
10 months or later after study entry.
Bruce Hillman, MD, Network Chair of ACRIN, said, “I am
very proud of the accomplishments of the DMIST researchers. The
DMIST team of clinicians and scientists did a truly miraculous
job in completing this complex trial quickly and producing these
important results. This landmark trial, along with others currently
being conducted by ACRIN, will influence the appropriate care
for women everywhere.”
Dr. Staiger explained that digital mammography takes an electronic
image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer, allowing
the recorded data to be enhanced, magnified, or manipulated for
further evaluation. The electronic image also can be printed
on film. Film mammography units use film to both capture and
display the image. The sensitivity of film mammography is somewhat
limited in women with dense breasts, a population at higher risk
for breast cancer.
Monmouth Medical Center is certified by the American College
of Radiology, and the breast center’s diagnostic suite
contains the most advanced mammographic equipment. Monmouth was
the first hospital in the area to offer the breakthrough technology
of full-field digital mammography.
According to the NCI, in the United States breast cancer is
the most common non-skin cancer, and the second leading cause
of cancer-related death in women. An estimated 211,240 women
will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 40,410
women will die of the disease in the United States in 2005.
“This digital mammography study demonstrates how new technologies
are expanding our ability to detect breast cancer earlier in
more women,” Dr. Staiger said.
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center at Monmouth
Medical Center was named one of the 10 best breast centers in
the country by Self magazine. The Center offers the most advanced
array of breast health services available including mammography
services, stereotactic biopsy, diagnostic radiology services,
clinical evaluation and consultation services, a lymphedema program,
a chemotherapy suite and a breast information center.
Dr. Staiger is board certified as a diagnostic radiologist,
and has more than 20 years experience in breast imaging. She
is a member of the American College of Radiology, the American
Association of Women Radiologist, the International Digital Mommography
Development Group, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine,
The radiological Society of North America, the Society for Breast
Imaging and the New York Roentgen Society.
For more information on the DMIST trial, or to schedule an appointment
at the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center at Monmouth
Medical Center, call (732) 923-7700.
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