Novi-based Delphinus Medical Technologies Inc. today began testing a new breast ultrasound screening procedure to determine how its new imaging process compares with traditional devices.
The project will enroll 10,000 asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue at several centers across the United States, including Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn. More than 40 percent of American women have dense breast tissue, which is unrelated to weight or size and can make cancer detection through mammography more difficult. The company’s new fully automated system, called Softvue, conducts scans while a woman lays face down on a padded table, with her breast supported in a warm water bath. A 360-degree ring transducer images the entire breast in a single pass, moving from the front of the breast to the chest wall.
“This important research will help us confirm the efficacy of the SoftVue system and potentially help establish new standards of care in dense breast tissue cancer screening,” says Dr. Mary Yamashita, assistant professor of clinical radiology at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and a principal investigator of the project.
“Dense breast tissue can mask or hide cancer, making it more difficult for mammography to detect cancer,” Yamashita says. “And while ultrasound has been shown to be effective in detecting cancer in dense breasts, there’s a need for advanced technology like Softvue that enables fast and comfortable whole breast ultrasound with fewer false positives.”
Yamashita says the entire scan takes two to four minutes per breast and there is no radiation exposure or compression of breast tissue. “Unlike a handheld ultrasound, SoftVue can provide multiple distinctive tissue qualities to radiologists, allowing them to differentiate possible cancers from normal to benign findings,” she says.
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