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Industry news that caught our eye


(#79) Researchers call for a closer look at speech recognition in radiology and beyond (Radiology Business February 13, 2019)

“Speech recognition has become a staple software category in radiology over the past three decades, and other medical specialties have adopted it as well. Yet efforts to assess the toolset’s applications and adaptations have been frustrated by the lack of a unified set of metrics.

Thanks to the resulting jumble, the time is ripe to put speech recognition under a focused research microscope for a full examination.

So suggest the authors of a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.”


(#78) Surveillance imaging after MRI-guided breast biopsy varies by institution, radiologist (Health Imaging February 13, 2019)

“Imaging follow-up protocols vary greatly by institution and radiologist after benign, concordant MRI-guided percutaneous core needle biopsies (MR-PCNB), according to research published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Because no consensus guidelines for imaging follow-up protocols after benign concordant MR-PCNB exist, conflicting data and unclear management guidelines can lead to variability in radiology practices and uncertainty among breast radiologists and their patients, wrote lead author Bhavika K. Patel, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and colleagues. “


(#77) How common are complications during stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsies? (Radiology Business February 11, 2019)

“Significant complications are rarely associated with stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsies (SVABs), according to new research published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

The study’s authors wrote that unnecessary biopsies and complications related to biopsies are often cited as potential harms of mammographic breast cancer screening, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) specifically used such issues to help explain why it changed its mammography recommendations in 2009. Noting that there has not been much recent research on this specific topic, the team wanted to explore how often such complications occur.”


(#76) PET technique may allow for earlier measurement of breast cancer therapy effectiveness (Health Imaging February 11, 2019)

“A molecular imaging technique using PET technology may improve how the efficacy or failure of hormone therapy is measured for breast cancer patients, according to research published online in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin, found that positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 18F-fluorofuranylnorprogesterone (18F-FFNP) can successfully measure changes in progesterone receptor (PR) levels which results from a short-course estrogen treatment, also known as an estradiol challenge.”


(#75) Mobile breast cancer screening unit to tour UAE (Radiology Business February 11, 2019)

“A mobile breast cancer screening unit will soon tour the United Arab Emirates to offer free consultations, mammography screenings and genetic testing for men and women.

According to a recent report from the English-language daily news outlet The National, The Pink Caravan, established in 2011, will have 30 buses filled with nurses and clinicians traveling between February 21 and March 2 to promote early breast cancer diagnosis. A fixed clinic will also be providing services in Abu Dhabi during that time.”


(#74) HL7 Receives Letter of Support from CMS (February 5, 2019)

“Dear Dr. Jaffee:

Thank you for collaborating in accelerating standards. Recognizing the importance of your work in moving forward to a truly collaborative, interoperable health system that supports patients in seeking low cost, high quality care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is excited to contribute our priorities for the upcoming year. Top of mind for CMS is ensuring the seamless flow of data, not only from provider to provider, but also including payers, beneficiaries and the opportunity to facilitate innovation by unleashing data for use by researchers, application developers and others. The CMS priorities that will continue to be highlighted in our work this year are:”


(#73) 14-layer CNN accurately predicts breast cancer molecular subtype (Health Imaging February 4, 2019)

“A 14-layer convolutional neural network (CNN) trained on MRI and pathology data accurately predicted the molecular subtype of breast cancers, according to a Jan. 31 study published in the Journal of Digital Imaging. The method may help personalize treatment plans for the disease.

Trained on available breast MRIs and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining pathology data of 216 patients with known breast cancer, the CNN predicted breast cancer subtype with 70 percent accuracy. A balanced holdout set of 40 patients was used as the testing set.”


(#72) New small cell lung cancer model reveals critical role of two mutated genes (Fierce BioTech February 11, 2019)

“Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) develops mostly in smokers and is so aggressive it almost always becomes resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. The disease is widely believed to originate from pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs), but they have proven difficult to generate in the lab, making it challenging for oncology researchers to study SCLC and find new therapies.

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York have figured out how to grow PNECs from human embryonic stem cells—and in so doing they’ve gained new insight into two genes that are commonly mutated in SCLC. They believe their new model of the disease will be useful for fine-tuning treatments at various stages of tumor development.”


(#71) MacroGenics Stock Soars on Positive Breast Cancer Trial Results (The Street February 6, 2019)

“MacroGenics (MGNX) shares soared on positive results from Sophia, its late-stage clinical study of the efficacy of margetuximab in patents with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Shares rose 130.4% to $25.60 by the close of trading on Wednesday.

SVB Leerink analyst Jonathan Chang wrote in a note that “little value for the drug in the indication was represented in the stock going into the results,” according to Bloomberg. Nomura sees the stock between $19 and $28 on positive Sophia results, Bloomberg says. Nomera and Leerink played lead roles in MacroGenics’ public offering of 4,500,000 common shares priced at $21.25 in March 2018.”


(#70) Are radiology reports too difficult for patients to understand? (Health Imaging January 18, 2019)

“Although online portals allow some patients to easily access their radiology reports, a recent study published online Jan. 8 in the American Journal of Roentgenology found that lumbar spine MRI reports in particular are written at a reading level too advanced for the average patient to comprehend.

The National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association recommend all patient education materials and reports be written at or below a six-grade reading level because the average U.S. adult reads at an eighth-grade level.”


(#69) Researchers developed an intelligent system for lung cancer diagnostics (Polytech February 4, 2019)

“Researches from Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), Russian Academic Excellence Initiative participant, in collaboration with the radiologists from St.Petersburg Clinical Research for Specialized Types of Medical Care (Oncological) have developed an intelligent software system for lung cancer diagnostics. This software can be installed on any computer. It analyzes patients’ computed tomography (CT) results within 20 seconds and provides an image in which the pathology is clearly marked. Reserachers have named the system Doctor AIzimov (AI for Artificial Intelligence) in honor of the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who developed three famous laws of robotics.”


(#68) Researchers of SPbPU developed a unique equipment for ultrasound examination (Ultrasound mobile) (Polytech May 28, 2018)

“Researchers of the laboratory “Medical ultrasound equipment” of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) developed a high-tech device-transformer for ultrasound examination, named “Ultrasound mobile”. The new equipment is the combination of three modifications in one device.

Currently, each modification functions separately in the medical centers, the scientists of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University became the first who combined it into a single hardware complex. Thus instead of two types of vehicles (stationary and portable), medical institutions can use single equipment for different purposes and in different wards.”


(#67) Providers need consensus guidelines for follow-up imaging after benign MRI-guided breast biopsies (Radiology Business February 8, 2019)

“More consistent follow-up protocols after benign concordant MRI-guided percutaneous core needle biopsies (MR-PCNBs) could lead to better overall patient care, according to a case study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“If radiologic-pathologic correlation is concordant with benign pathology, then patients may be recommended for imaging follow-up to confirm stability of imaging findings and to aid in early diagnosis of potentially false-negative results,” wrote Bhavika K. Patel, MD, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and colleagues. “Studies have reported up to a 4 percent false-negative MR biopsy rate.””


(#66) Targeting the Immune System Keeps Skin Cancer From Returning (Laboratory Equipment February 8, 2019)

“People who have had one melanoma are much likelier to develop future skin cancers.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have discovered why—and found a potential therapeutic target to keep this aggressive cancer from coming back.

Melanomas are considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer by experts. When caught early, it is almost always curable. However, it can be difficult to treat once it has spread to other parts of the body.

Approximately 178,560 cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2018.”


(#65) FDA updates providers on rare cancer associated with breast implants (Radiology Business February 7, 2019)

“The FDA has published a new letter to providers in radiology, pathology, emergency medicine and several other specialties with updated information related to breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Patients are at “an increased risk” of developing BIA-ALCL “within the scar capsule adjacent to the implant,” according to the document, which is signed by William Maisel, MD, MPH, CMO of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.”


(#64) Interacting with primary care physicians improves screening mammography adherence (Radiology Business February 7, 2019)

“When primary care physicians (PCP) interact with their patients at a high level, it leads to improvements in breast cancer screening adherence for all racial and ethnic minority groups, according to new findings published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“As the United States continues to become increasingly diverse, understanding factors that affect access to routine screening mammography is an important step in improving breast cancer disparities among racial/ethnic minority groups,” wrote Efrén J. Flores, MD, department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.”


(#63) Electronic Bandage Can Speed Wound Healing (Design News February 5, 2019)

“Engineers at the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison developed a wound dressing, which uses the energy it harvests to send gentle electrical pulses to an injury site, treatment that helps significantly speed healing, they said in a UW news release.

Indeed, in tests on rodents, the so-called “e-bandage” reduced healing of wounds to three days instead of the usual two weeks it takes for them to completely heal, said Xudong Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at UW–Madison who led the research.”


(#62) AI diagnoses lung cancers in 20 seconds (AI in Healthcare February 4, 2019)

“Russian researchers from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) and radiologists from St. Petersburg Clinical Research for Specialized Types of Medical Care developed AI software that can distinguish and subsequently mark lung cancers on a CT scan within 20 seconds.

The AI software, dubbed Doctor AI-zimov, can detect lung nodules as small as 2 millimeters on CT scans, according to a prepared statement issued by SPbPU.”


(#61) The Future of Radiology Reporting (Carestream February 5, 2019)

“Interactive, multi-media reporting is readily available within radiology workstations today – yet the majority of diagnostic imaging reports in the UK remain text based. In fact, the format of medical imaging reports created by most radiology departments has not changed much in over 100 years.

But this status quo is about to change. In the short and long term, reporting will undergo a considerable transformation.”


(#60) Why health systems must embrace the forthcoming CDS mandate (Health Imaging January 29, 2019)

“Upcoming legislation mandating the use of a clinical decision support (CDS) system when ordering advanced imaging tests could affect up to six million emergency department visits annually, according to estimates published in a Jan. 29 Radiology study. The law is set to go into effect in January 2020.

Congress passed The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) in 2014, which put forth rules for CMS to establish the Appropriate Use Program for CDS systems that will be implemented in U.S. health systems serving Medicare beneficiaries. Providers who do not consult with a compliant CDS system will not be reimbursed for advanced imaging studies, according to the legislation.”


(#59) Bundled payment model for breast cancer screening is realistic, study finds (Health Imaging January 23, 2019)

“Previously established frameworks for creating breast cancer screening bundled payment models are achievable, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The approaches could also incorporate the rise of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).

In the study, researchers set out to evaluate the feasibility of a mammography bundled payment model and how a model for breast cancer screening created prior to widespread DBT adoption would fare after institutions have embraced the breast cancer screening method.”


(#58) OncoCyte blood test to rule out lung malignancies heads for commercial launch following study (Fierce Biotech January 29, 2019)

“OncoCyte has delivered new positive results from a study of its DetermaVu blood test for lung cancer, which is designed to rule out patients who have a suspicious lung nodule but do not require an immediate biopsy.

The test showed 90% sensitivity in spotting malignant nodules in a prospective study and 75% specificity in identifying those that were benign out of a cohort of 250 patient samples. In addition, the test made its determinations without including any clinical factors in its algorithm, such as the size of the lung nodule, the company said.”


(#57) Study: 25% of adults worldwide will have a stroke (Cardiovascular Business January 4, 2019)

“About one-quarter of adults in the world will experience a stroke in their lifetime, according to new estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBDS) published online Dec. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The GBDS 2016 used all available epidemiologic data to assess health loss from 328 diseases across 195 countries and territories from 1990 through 2016. With this information, corresponding author Gregory A. Roth, MD, and colleagues sought to calculate the cumulative lifetime incidence of a first stroke—including ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes—among adults 25 or older.”


(#56) DBT associated with lower recall rate, makes no impact on cancer detection rate (Radiology Business January 28, 2019)

“The implementation of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) at eight radiology facilities in Vermont led to lower recall rates than full-field digital mammography (FFDM) alone, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. However, the authors observed no improvements in cancer detection rates.

The authors explored data from the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance system, including more than 97,000 FFDM examinations and more than 86,000 DBT examinations from 2012 through 2016.”


(#55) Black women wait longer for breast surgery than white women, study finds (Health Imaging January 25, 2019)

“New research involving breast cancer patients in the U.S. Military Health System found that black women wait longer to undergo breast cancer surgery after being diagnosed with the disease than white women, according to a study published Jan. 23 in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers led by Kangmin Zhu, MD, PhD, of the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Rockville, Maryland, noted that the longer time to surgery, however, did not account for the observed racial disparity in overall survival.”


(#54) Bayer gets with the program for Super Bowl LIII to kick off cancer testing awareness effort (Fierce Pharma January 29, 2019)

“Bayer is going to the Super Bowl. Not with some glitzy $5 million TV ad, but instead with a print ad in the official Super Bowl LIII program to launch its new awareness campaign around genomic testing for cancer.

The “Test Your Cancer” campaign soft launch begins with the Super Bowl ad along with focused digital ad buys in an effort to make people aware of genomic testing options for solid tumor cancer patients.”


(#53) How radiologists can eliminate these 4 lung cancer screening barriers (Health Imaging January 9, 2019)

“A new article published in Radiology explores the barriers patients face in undergoing lung cancer screening (LCS), and more importantly, what radiologists can do to encourage their participation.

“Radiologists are essential to every LCS program,” wrote Gary X. Wang, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues. “Increased awareness of challenges faced by patients and referring providers will empower radiologists to continue to collaboratively guide nationwide multidisciplinary efforts to implement LCS.””


(#52) Noninvasive Test for Colon Cancer Screening Offered as an Alternative to Colonoscopy for Screening (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry January 8, 2019)

““The only real cure for cancer is finding it early,” said Padma Sundar, vice president of strategy and market access at CellMax Life, in an interview with MD+DI. In terms of colorectal cancer, she said it takes a long time for an adenoma to develop into cancer, so early detection of these adenomas can be lifesaving.”


(#51) Long-Term Study of 1,000 Tumors Demonstrates Effectiveness of iCAD’s Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy System for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Treatment (Globe News Wire January 7, 2019)

“iCAD, Inc. (NASDAQ: ICAD), a global medical technology leader providing innovative cancer detection and therapy solutions, today announced the results of a long-term study conducted at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian with the Xoft® Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx®) System® for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer using intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT).”


(#50) Machine learning approach requires less data to identify follow-up guidance in radiology reports (Health Imaging January 3, 2019)

“Follow-up recommendations in radiology reports commonly contain little standardization. Machine learning and deep learning (DL) methods are each effective for deciphering reports and may provide the foundation for real-time recommendation extraction, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“Radiology reports with follow-up recommendations are difficult to identify, in part because of their free-text nature and their lack of standardized structure and content,” wrote first author Emmanuel Carrodeguas, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues…””


(#49) New Role Found for Protein in Preventing Breast Cancer Growth and Spread (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News January 14, 2019)

“Scientists at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine have found a new role for a protein in preventing the growth and spread of breast cancer. The results of the study (“Exosomes from Nischarin-Expressing Cells Reduce Breast Cancer Cell Motility and Tumor Growth”), which researchers believe could have a significant impact on cancer therapy, were published in the OnlineFirst section of Cancer Research…”


(#48) Preventing breast cancer metastasis by killing tumor cells in their sleep (Fierce Biotech January 21, 2019)

“Oncology researchers have long believed that “dormant” breast cancer cells—those that have stopped dividing and are merely hiding out in the body—are unresponsive to chemotherapy. Yet those inactive cancer cells can wake up at any time and cause life-threatening metastases.

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center say they’ve figured out how to prevent dormant breast cancer cells from ever waking up, and that the key is to disrupt a signaling system in blood vessels that protects the cells as they sleep…”


(#47) Optical imaging system visualizes molecular features of breast cancer tissue in real-time (Health Imaging December 20, 2018

“A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a portable optical imaging system that can visualize molecular features of breast tissue after it’s been surgically removed from a patient, according to research published online Dec. 19 in Science Advances.

Able to track tumor progression, the tool may provide cancer researchers more in-depth information regarding cancer tissue pathology and diagnostics in real-time…”


(#46) Breast-specific gamma imaging could help predict pathologic response to chemotherapy (Health Imaging January 11, 2018)

“Breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) performed with comparable sensitives in detecting residual tumor compared to breast MRI, and may be a more useful tool for predicting a complete pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in those with breast cancer, according to research published online Jan. 8 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

BGSI is a relatively new nuclear medicine imaging tool that can be used as a complementary modality for initial breast cancer diagnosis, according to Shannon Kim, MD, radiologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and colleagues. The authors noted, however, that few studies have compared the accuracy of BSGI and breast MRI for such clinical situations…”


(#45) According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program

Breast cancer represented 15.3% of all new cancer cases and 6.7% of all cancer deaths in 2018. There were an estimated 266,120 new cases of breast cancer in the U.S. and an estimated 40,920 deaths.


(#44) Novel Technique May Significantly Reduce Breast Biopsies (Imaging Technology News January 17, 2019)

“A novel technique that uses mammography to determine the biological tissue composition of a tumor could help reduce unnecessary breast biopsies, according to a new study appearing in the journal Radiology.1

Mammography has been effective at reducing deaths from breast cancer by detecting cancers in their earliest, most treatable stages. However, many women are called back for additional diagnostic imaging and, in many cases, biopsies, for abnormal findings that are ultimately proven benign. Research estimates this recall rate to be more than 10 percent in the United States.”


(#43) The 10 Pillars of Lung Cancer Screening: Rationale and Logistics of a Lung Cancer Screening Program (RSNA October 23, 2015)

“Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women and caused an estimated 436 deaths per day in the United States in 2014 (1). When diagnosed after symptoms occur, lung cancer is typically advanced, resulting in a dismal 5-year survival rate of 17.4% (2). Although lung cancer is one of the top four deadliest cancers and is curable when detected at an early stage, routine screening for lung cancer has not been performed until recently. Although multiple randomized trials had been conducted, no screening test had been shown to reduce lung cancer–specific mortality until the June 2011 release of data from the landmark National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) (Fig 1) (3,4).”


(#42) Bundled payment model for breast cancer screening is realistic, study finds (Health Imaging January 23, 2019)

“Previously established frameworks for creating breast cancer screening bundled payment models are achievable, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The approaches could also incorporate the rise of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).

In the study, researchers set out to evaluate the feasibility of a mammography bundled payment model and how a model for breast cancer screening created prior to widespread DBT adoption would fare after institutions have embraced the breast cancer screening method.”


(#41) DBT associated with more accurate biopsy recommendations (Radiology Business January 23, 2019)

“Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) implementation in a diagnostic setting can result in an improved cancer detection rate (CDR) and more accurate biopsy recommendations, according to a new case study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“Although DBT may better characterize malignant and benign features, and therefore have the potential to decrease unnecessary imaging follow-up and ultimately benign biopsies, the current literature is inconsistent,” wrote Emily B. Ambinder, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues. “Therefore, we aimed to add to this important topic by assessing the impact of DBT on outcomes in the diagnostic setting.””


(#40) How a radiology department improved its national ranking in patient experience (Radiology Business January 23, 2019)

“Considering the continued focus on quality over quantity and the rise of online reviews, patient experience has never been more important in healthcare than it is today. A new study published by Radiology tracked one radiology department’s efforts to assess its own patient experience, identify improvement opportunities and make a difference.

“Studies in several radiology departments have cited various factors as important to patients including wait times, acknowledgment of concerns, friendliness of support staff, convenience of parking, and comfort of the waiting area,” wrote Neena Kapoor, MD, department of radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues. “However, it is unknown whether these factors are amenable to change or whether improving these factors can measurably improve patient experience.””


(#39) Vancouver risk calculator found to improve lung cancer screening (Health Imaging January 22, 2019)

“The Vancouver risk calculator (VRC) offers superior guidance in predicting the risk of malignancy in patients receiving CT lung cancer screening compared to the American College of Radiology Lung Imaging Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS), according to a new study.

Authors of the research, published Jan. 22 in Radiology, did report the Vancouver method was less specific and less accurate when it came to subsolid nodules.

In the study, researchers scored more than 4,400 nodules taken from 2,813 patients as part of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). The nodules were scored using VRC with nine parameters and Lung-RADS. Of the total, 4,078 nodules were solid, 330 were subsolid.”


(#38) 23andMe Receives FDA Clearance for Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test on a Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndrome (MorningStar January 22, 2019)

“23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today received FDA clearance for a genetic health risk report on a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome.

The clearance follows the FDA’s authorization for 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic Health Risk report in March 2018. The MUTYH-Associated Polyposis report was submitted to the FDA using the 510(k) submission pathway, enabled by the BRCA decision in March 2018. These two reports are the only direct-to-consumer genetic health risk reports for inherited cancers that have been authorized or cleared by the FDA for use without prescription.”


(#37) Providers begin using AI to improve clinical decision making (Health Data Management January 22, 2019)

“Healthcare organizations across the country are beginning to cash in on early efforts in artificial intelligence and data visualization.

First reports on initial efforts to use these advanced technologies show tantalizing potential.

At Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have developed an AI algorithm to rapidly diagnose and classify brain hemorrhages from unenhanced computed tomography scans, detecting acute incidents and offering prediction capabilities that eventually could help staff in hospital emergency departments evaluate patients with acute stroke symptoms.”


(#36) Alphabet CFO: Our AI is so good we can detect breast cancer with less data than ever (CNBC January 22, 2019)

“Major breakthroughs are now possible with less data than ever thanks to artificial intelligence, Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Tuesday.

Artificial intelligence “learns” patterns by ingesting typically large amounts of data and then using that information to complete a task, like sorting data into different buckets. Porat said less data is required than before to see impactful results from AI, citing a recent example of medical breakthrough aided by Alphabet technology.”


(#35) Predicting Lung Cancer Earlier Using Genomics (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News January 22, 2019)

“Novel methods for early detection are critical for improving cancer treatments and outcomes. This is especially true for lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer death worldwide, with over 1.5 million deaths per year. Now, the world’s first genetic sequencing of precancerous lung lesions has allowed researchers for the first time, to discover the differences between the lesions that will become invasive and those that are harmless, and the subsequent development of a method that can accurately predict which lesions will become cancerous.

The work, published on January 21st in Nature Medicine, titled “Deciphering the genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic landscapes of preinvasive lung cancer lesions” may pave the way for very early detection and new treatments.”


(#34) Breast MRI may help personalize treatment for DCIS patients (Health Imaging January 21, 2019)

“Pairing breast MRI with a test that characterizes breast cancer genes can lead to a more personalized treatment approach for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), reported authors of a recent study published in JAMA Oncology.

The study, which included 75 institutions, enrolled 339 women with DCIS on core biopsy who were also eligible for wide local excision (WLE) surgery. Patients received breast MRI before surgery and those results were considered when determining surgical choice. A test called the 12-gene DCIS score assay—a 10-year risk recurrence test on a scale of 0 to 100—guided radiotherapy recommendations.”


(#33) DBT helps reduce recall rates, commit fewer patients to short-term follow-up (Radiology Business January 21, 2019)

“Implementing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) can lead to fewer women being committed to short-term follow-up, according to new research published in Academic Radiology.

The authors explored BI-RADS classifications from a single institution that first made DBT available in September 2011. More than 11,000 breast cancer screening examinations with digital mammography (DM) from before implementation (Sept. 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011) were compared with more than 9,000 examinations with DBT and DM after implementation (Jan. 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015). All examinations were read by one of a team of five radiologists.”


(#32) College of American Pathologists release digital pathology guidelines for testing breast cancer (Health Imaging January 18, 2019)

“The College of American Pathologists released 11 new evidence-based clinical recommendations to help labs better use quantitative image analysis (QIA) in HER2 testing for breast cancer.

The first-ever guidelines put forth steps to validate QIA before implementing along with maintenance steps to assure quality and control while testing. The college recommends labs validate QIA results by comparing them to an alternative, validated method such as HER2 in-situ hybridization protocol or consensus images.”


(#31) Plaque characteristics boost predictive power of CTA risk scoring (Cardiovascular Business January 18, 2019)

“A CT angiography (CTA)-derived score that also incorporated the extent, location and composition of coronary plaque outperformed a model that focused only on the severity of stenosis, researchers reported Jan. 16 in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Coronary CTA reading is currently guided by the Coronary Artery Disease-Reporting and Data system (CAD-RADS), and that assessment is predicated mostly on the maximal degree of stenosis observed. However, lead author Alexander R. van Rosendael, MD, and colleagues noted that other coronary plaque characteristics including its location (proximal versus distal), composition (calcified, noncalcified or mixed) and the number of plaques have been linked to clinical outcomes in previous studies.”


(#30) DBT outperforms FFDM when screening patients with dense breast tissue (Radiology Business January 18, 2019)

“Invasive lobular, low-grade and HER-2-negative breast cancers are more detectable with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) than conventional full-field digital mammography (FFDM) when imaging patients with dense breasts, according to a new study published in the Korean Journal of Radiology.

The authors asked three blinded radiologists to review DBT and FFDM images from 288 patients with dense breasts with a mean age of 48.5 years. They reviewed the images during two separate review sessions held at least one month apart, making notes where they detected tumors. Two non-blinded radiologists then reviewed DBT and FFDM images as well as ultrasound and MR images. The non-blinded radiologists scored the work of each individual blinded radiologist to determine a “detectability score” for all of the malignancies.”


(#29) Stationary DBT improves reader accuracy compared to mammography (Radiology Business January 17, 2019)

“Stationary digital breast tomosynthesis (sDBT), which allows views to be collected without  moving the x-ray tube, leads to improved reader accuracy compared to mammography, according to new findings published in Academic Radiology.

“In 2016, about one-third of all screening evaluations included DBT, at which time a standard mammogram was also obtained in most cases,” wrote Yueh Z. Lee, MD, PhD, of the department of radiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues. “However, since combined imaging doubles the radiation dose and increases cost, work continues to improve DBT, with a goal of eliminating the need to collect a standard mammogram at the same time.””

(#28) USPSTF recommends offering medication to women at increased risk for breast cancer (Radiology Business January 16, 2019)

“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has published a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review that says clinicians should offer “risk-reducing medications” to women at an increased risk for breast cancer. Those women should also be at a low-risk for any adverse effects associated with such medication, the USPSTF added.

This represents a “B” recommendation from the independent group. Offering women not at an increased risk for breast cancer risk-reducing medications gets a “D” recommendation, meaning it is not recommended.”


(#27) 3 ways to demonstrate the true value provided by radiologists (Radiology Business January 14, 2019)

“Radiologists provide significant value. According to a new analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, however, the specialty is still judged by “checkbox metrics” that do not illustrate its true value.

Measuring value in healthcare is difficult, primarily because current payment programs are based on specific clinical processes. It’s even more challenging in radiology because it can be hard to connect a radiologist’s efforts to a patient outcome. So, what can be done to improve the daily discussion that revolves around value?”


(#26) Increased spending on chronic conditions such as breast cancer a smart investment (Radiology Business January 14, 2019)

“Spending on treating chronic conditions has skyrocketed in the United States, but it is an investment that has paid off for patients.

Researchers explored healthcare spending from 1996 to 2015, sharing their findings in Health Affairs. The team focused on spending associated with breast cancer, lung cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, HIV/AIDS and ischemic heart disease. In 1996, for example, more than $1.9 billion was spent on treating breast cancer. That number jumped to more than $12.5 billion in 2015. Significant increases were found in all seven conditions, leading the researchers to wonder if more spending has led to better patient outcomes.”


(#25) SBI publishes policy statement on diversity, inclusion (Radiology Business January 11, 2019)

“The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) has issued a new policy statement on diversity and inclusion, emphasizing the belief that “all people for whom breast cancer screening is appropriate should receive the opportunity to undergo screening.”

The statement, produced by the SBI Communications and Advocacy Task Force, begins by noting that the most effective way to minimize the impact of breast cancer is for all women at an average risk to get annual screening mammograms beginning at the age of 40 and “continue as long as they are in good health.””

(#24) How a breast imaging center plans to improve patient-centered care (Health Imaging January 3, 2019)

“Long wait times can negatively impact patient satisfaction, which then harms the patient-centered, value-based care imaging departments seek to provide. But collecting the necessary data for improvements can be difficult, according to the authors of a case study published in the Journal of Digital Imaging. At one large hospital-based outpatient breast imaging department, researchers implemented a real-time location system (RTLS) to pinpoint problems areas experienced when performing full field digital mammograms (FFDM) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) exams.”


(#23) Veracyte Finds Ally in J&J for Early Lung Cancer Detection (MD+DI January 3, 2019)

“A new collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Veracyte, a genomic diagnostics company, will focus on the detection of lung cancer. The long-term agreement will be used to advance the development and commercialization of novel diagnostic tests to detect lung cancer at its earliest stages, when the disease is most treatable.”


(#22) Researchers create less-invasive biosensor for breast cancer diagnosis (Verdict Medical Devices December 10, 2018)

“A research team funded by the US National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has devised a new biosensor to diagnose breast cancer less invasively compared to the existing needle biopsy approach.

The new biosensor chip, created by researchers from the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut, is designed to identify a breast cancer biomarker called HER-2 in the blood within 15 minutes.” Read the full article here.


(#21) Myriad study shows breast cancer recurrence test can predict therapy responses (Fierce Biotech December 7, 2018)

“Myriad Genetics presented new data on its EndoPredict test, saying it can accurately forecast which women with newly diagnosed ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer will see the most benefits from adjunctive chemotherapy.”


(#20) Intermountain CMIO Stan Huff on the Need for Greater Interoperability: “We’re Killing Too Many People” (Healthcare Informatics December 6, 2018)

“About 250,000 people die per year due to preventable medical errors, and that’s the biggest motivator there is for more advanced interoperability, says one clinical IT leader. Stan Huff, M.D., chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) at the Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare for the past 31 years, has long been a top leader in his field. Working on the leadership team for a health system like Intermountain and serving as a co-chair of the HL7 Clinical Information Modeling Initiative (CIMI), while also having been a former member of the ONC Health IT Standards Committee, Huff has a wealth of knowledge coming from both provider- and standards-focused perspectives.”


(#19) Can using radiomics during screening mammography improve breast cancer diagnosis? (Health Imaging December 5, 2018)

“By using radiomics, Chinese researchers found that the diagnostic performance of mammography could improve and offer complementary information to radiologists regarding benign and malignant breast tumors, as reported in the Journal of the American College of Radiology on Dec. 5. Quantitative image analyses, such as computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) algorithms, are continually being developed to help radiologists more objectively and clearly interpret mammograms.”


(#18) Liquid Biopsy Detects Epigenetic Signature Common To All Cancers (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News December 5, 2018)

“Do you have cancer or not? This seemingly simple question could be answered by a simple test that looks for just one DNA signature, an epigenetic pattern that emerges in every cancer. Even better, the test works on circulating free DNA, molecular fragments that drift through easily obtained body fluids.”


(#17) GE Healthcare Introduces Invenia ABUS 2.0 (Imaging Tech News December 3, 2018)

“GE Healthcare recently launched the Invenia automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) 2.0 system in the United States. This device is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved ultrasound supplemental breast screening technology, according to GE, specifically designed for detecting cancer in dense breast tissue. When used in addition to mammography, Invenia ABUS can improve breast cancer detection by 55 percent over mammography[1] alone.[2].”

(#16) RSNA 2018: Cryoablation shows early effectiveness for low-risk breast cancer treatment (Health Imaging November 29, 2018)

“Cryoablation—commonly called cryotherapy—demonstrated early effectiveness in treating women with low-risk breast cancer, reported researchers during a Nov. 29 session at RSNA’s 2018 Annual Meeting. The authors, led by Kenneth R. Tomkovich, MD, with CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey, found one case of cancer recurrence out of 180 patients treated over the four-year study period, according to a prepared statement from RSNA. “If the positive preliminary findings are maintained as the patients enrolled in the study continue to be monitored, that will serve as a strong indication of the promise of cryotherapy as an alternative treatment for a specific group of breast cancer patients,” Tomkovich said in the statemen.”


(#15) Predictive model may reduce overtreatment of ground glass nodules (Health Imaging November 20, 2018)

“Ground glass nodule detection has risen alongside CT’s increased use in lung cancer screening, but pulmonary GGNs can represent various abnormalities, wrote Chen-Lu Liu, MD, with Nanjing Medical University’s Department of Radiology, and colleagues. Therefore, an improved predictive model is sorely needed.”

(#14) Computer uses machine learning to analyze breast cancer images (AI in Healthcare November 20, 2018)

“With the help of machine learning, researchers were able to train a computer to analyze breast cancer images and classify tumors accurately, according to a study published in NPJ Breast Cancer.

The study was led by researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Using artificial intelligence, or machine learning, we were able to do a number of things that pathologists can do at a similar accuracy, but we were also able to do a thing or two that pathologists are not able to do today,” Charles Perou, PhD, the May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology, professor of genetics, and of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, said in a statement. “This has a long way to go in terms of validation, but I think the accuracy is only going to get better as we acquire more images to train the computer with.””


(#13) Lung cancers efficiently identified, characterized with novel AI approach (Radiology Business November 20, 2018)

“Researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook have demonstrated a deep-learning algorithm that can quickly diagnose early-stage lung cancer on CT scans by combining computerized self-trained tumor identification with engineered identification of specific tumor features such as texture…”


(#12) Husband-and-wife duo receives $1.8M to study new imaging technique for breast cancer patients (Radiology Business November 16, 2018)

“The husband-and-wife duo led the development of a new technique called Precision Breast intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), which reduces weeks of radiation treatments for patients by adding high-powered imaging to radiation therapy. It is also meant to help spare healthy tissue and organs from being exposed to unnecessary radiation during the imaging process. Development of this new technique first began back in 2014…”


(#11) AI tool detects skin cancers better than dermatologists (AI in Healthcare November 16, 2018)

“For the study, researchers trained and tested a deep-learning CNN on how well it could diagnosis skin lesions with melanoma or as benign nevi based on a test set of 100 images. They then compared the CNN’s performance to 58 dermatologists, including 30 experts from 17 different countries…”


(#10) Photoacoustic imaging detects early-stage ovarian cancer (Health Imaging November 16, 2018)

“Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri used photoacoustic tomography with ultrasound, or photoacoustic imaging, to detect and diagnose early stage ovarian cancer, according to a recent university press release.

Quing Zhu, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology, at Washington University in St. Louis, and researchers hope the new diagnostic imaging technique could improve early detection in patients with ovarian cancer and help reduce unnecessary surgical intervention, medical costs and improve women’s quality-of-life, according to research published online in the September issue of Radiology…”


(#9) Patients see significant value in medical imaging results (Radiology Business November 2, 2018)

“New research published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology suggests that patients place great importance in learning about their imaging results, even if the findings do not directly impact their healthcare. The knowledge obtained from these tests is viewed as “a valuable outcome…”


(#8) MRIs beyond 10 Tesla are on the rise internationally (Health Imaging October 31, 2018)

“Around the world, MRI scanners reaching beyond 10.5 Tesla are being used and developed to produce detailed images of the human brain, and soon the entire human body. There are only three of the $14 million 10.5 Tesla scanners in existence, though all are continuing to push MRI to new limits of magnetic strength, according to an article published Oct. 31 by Nature.com…”


(#7) ACR Data Science Institute releases use cases to advance AI imaging (Health Imaging October 26, 2018)

“The American College of Radiology Data Science Institute (ACR DSI) announced Friday, Oct. 26 the release of a series of standardized artificial intelligence (AI) use cases to advance imaging in AI, according to an ACR release. “The ACR DSI use cases present a pathway to help AI developers solve health care problems in a comprehensive way that turns concepts for AI solutions into safe and effective tools to help radiologists provide better care for our patients,” said Bibb Allen Jr., MD, ACR DSI Chief Medical Officer…”


(#6) Breast Cancer Trial: First-Line Chemo-Immuno Combo Improves Outcomes (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News October 22, 2018)

“A large Phase III trial, the Impassion130 trial, has produced results supporting the use of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy as first-line treatment in certain patients with triple-negative breast cancer. The trial evaluated the combination of nab-paclitaxel, which is a chemotherapy drug, and atezolizumab, which is a checkpoint inhibitor. Together, the chemotherapeutic and the checkpoint inhibitor performed better than the chemotherapeutic alone. They increased both progression-free survival and overall survival…”


(#5) Personalized cancer vaccine represents new approach to treating HER2-positive tumors (Fierce Biotech September 30, 2018)

“More than a decade ago, scientists at the National Cancer Institute began investigating the idea of using patients’ own immune cells to treat their HER2-positive cancers. The technique involved taking dendritic cells from their blood, then genetically modifying them to produce parts of the HER2 protein. The hope was that if the modified cells were then introduced back to the patient, they would generate an immune response against the cancer…”


(#4) ACR’s Allen: Why structured use cases will drive adoption of AI in radiology (Health Imaging October 30, 2018)

“The American College of Radiology Data Science Institute (ACR DSI) recently released of a series of standardized artificial intelligence (AI) use cases to help advance imaging in AI. Down the road, they could help create an “AI ecosystem” for radiology, wrote Bibb Allen, MD, chief medical officer of the ACR DSI, in a recent Journal of the American College of Radiology editorial. Allen explained these structured use cases are important because they will greatly assist in driving the adoption of AI tools in clinical practice…”


(#3) ACR Data Science Institute releases use cases to advance AI imaging (Health Imaging October 26, 2018)

“The American College of Radiology Data Science Institute (ACR DSI) announced Friday, Oct. 26 the release of a series of standardized artificial intelligence (AI) use cases to advance imaging in AI, according to an ACR release. “The ACR DSI use cases present a pathway to help AI developers solve health care problems in a comprehensive way that turns concepts for AI solutions into safe and effective tools to help radiologists provide better care for our patients,” said Bibb Allen Jr., MD, ACR DSI Chief Medical Officer…”


(#2) Breast Cancer Trial: First-Line Chemo-Immuno Combo Improves Outcomes (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News October 22, 2018)

“A large Phase III trial, the Impassion130 trial, has produced results supporting the use of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy as first-line treatment in certain patients with triple-negative breast cancer. The trial evaluated the combination of nab-paclitaxel, which is a chemotherapy drug, and atezolizumab, which is a checkpoint inhibitor. Together, the chemotherapeutic and the checkpoint inhibitor performed better than the chemotherapeutic alone. They increased both progression-free survival and overall survival…”


(#1) Personalized cancer vaccine represents new approach to treating HER2-positive tumors (Fierce Biotech September 30, 2018)

“More than a decade ago, scientists at the National Cancer Institute began investigating the idea of using patients’ own immune cells to treat their HER2-positive cancers. The technique involved taking dendritic cells from their blood, then genetically modifying them to produce parts of the HER2 protein. The hope was that if the modified cells were then introduced back to the patient, they would generate an immune response against the cancer…”

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