MAMMA project develops new way to find breast cancer tumors

Many Florida women have breast cancer, and it accounts for roughly 25 percent of all cancer cases around the world. Survival rates are comparatively high, thanks to advances in the detection of breast cancer tumors, but some tumors are more subtle and thus at a higher risk for proving fatal. This is where the European-funded project MAMMA comes in.

The project designed an intelligent computer-assisted system to detect and diagnose these problematic breast lesions. The research that has gone into the project will allow it to translate image-processing algorithms to prognostic markers, which in turn predict the development of the cancer.

The system will reduce the likelihood of misdiagnoses, which are a particular risk with the current BI-RADS® (Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System) classification system. BI-RADS® is known to have difficulty determining the boundary between a tumor and background tissue. The complex lesions in question also exhibit heterogeneous behavior, posing a greater difficulty for current evaluation systems.

With the aid of radiomics, MAMMA is able to distinguish oncological tissues better than BI-RADS®. There is also new software that uses spatiotemporal descriptors to better capture the behaviors of these lesions. The technology can also develop treatment strategies based on a patient’s characteristics and the type of cancer. Moreover, by distinguishing between lethal and non-lethal cancers, it will cut down on unnecessary treatments and patient anxiety.

Even with such technology, though, oncologists and other doctors are still liable to make mistakes like misdiagnoses. In such cases, victims will want to consult with an attorney to see if they have the grounds for a malpractice claim.