19.03.2014 change 19.03.2014

Braster plus mammography is better diagnosis of breast cancer

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Polish invention thermographic breast examination combined with mammography increases the effectiveness of cancer diagnostic procedures. Non-invasive and safe liquid crystal contact thermography can improve screening. Clinical study completed in February showed effectiveness and usefulness of Tester BRASTER in the diagnosis of breast pathology.

The invention is based on the detection of abnormalities, including cancer lesions, with thermography, or the study of changes in the tissue temperature. In combination with other methods it allows diagnostics in a broad spectrum of patients, regardless of age, structure and temperature of the breast.

THERMACRAC study was observational. It was conducted in women with breast pathology. The women were referred for an in-depth diagnostics in specialized UJCM and NZOZ centres, which carry out the breast pathology in-depth diagnosis program funded by the National Health Fund. Over 6 months, specialists in Polish clinics used this method to examine 736 women and diagnosed 72 cases of breast cancer.

The work was monitored by Clinmark Clinical Research. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Jagiellonian University Medical College and the Bioethics Committees at the Medical Chambers in Kraków and Katowice.

The effectiveness of diagnosis with Tester BRASTER was compared with standard diagnostic procedure to evaluate its clinical usefulness in detecting breast cancer in women. Standard diagnostic procedures involve physical examination combined with at least one imaging technique: ultrasound, mammography and possibly biopsy.

The study concerned, inter alia, sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity is the probability of a positive diagnostic test result among patients with the disease. Higher sensitivity means fewer patients are missed. In turn, the specificity is the probability of a negative diagnostic test result among patients who do not suffer from the diagnosed disease. High specificity means no false positive indications (the test does not indicate healthy patients as sick).

Sensitivity and specificity of thermography achieved in the study was, respectively, 72 percent and 58 percent. Tester BRASTER achieved even better results in 50 years old and older women. The results were affected by the breast structure - in people with fat structure, sensitivity and specificity was 100 percent and 64 percent respectively, and in those with glandular structure of the breast - 71 percent and 63 percent.

Also confirmed was the complementarity of the three methods: thermography, mammography and ultrasound, due to their different detection characteristics.

It turned out that breast cancer was more detectable using the combination of two methods: mammography and thermography, than in the case of mammography only. In the study report provided by the company Braster SA, Dr. Paweł Basta from the Jagiellonian University confirmed that in the light of the study, Tester BRASTER can be considered a promising complement to devices useful in the diagnosis of breast pathology, including breast cancer in women.

Recommendations from the study include conducting research and development associated with increasing the ergonomics of the machine. The idea is to shorten the time thermographic test. Scientist will also develop methods to interpret the results and work on support tools, such as thermographic atlas and special software.

Work on the device is carried out by the company Braster. Currently, the project is headed by Dr. Henryk Jaremek.

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