'Adding breast density to the standard risk assessment is critical to our ability to identify a woman’s specific risk and develop a customized screening and prevention plan,' said Laura Esserman, MD.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 12, 2014
Volpara Solutions announced today that VolparaDensity volumetric breast density measurement software has been selected by the Athena Breast Health Network, made up of five University of California (UC) medical centers, for use in creating individual risk assessments designed to identify a woman’s potential to develop breast cancer and create a personalized screening approach.
A multi-disciplinary Athena team has developed a roadmap for a risk-based screening mammography program, which would be offered to Athena participants as an alternative to usual care. Women who elect to participate in risk-based screening would receive a comprehensive risk assessment, which will include the current Athena questionnaire, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) testing, and breast density measurement using VolparaDensity. Individualized risk profiles would then be used to personalize screening frequency: very low risk women would be offered less frequent screening schedules while women at high risk would receive enhanced surveillance and prevention options. UCSF Medical Center will be the first location to use the VolparaDensity system.
“We need to gain a better understanding of breast cancer risk factors in order to continue to improve the breast cancer screening process. Adding breast density to the standard risk assessment is critical to our ability to identify a woman’s specific risk and develop a customized screening and prevention plan,” said Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, founding director of Athena and director of the UCSF Franc Buck Breast Care Center.
The Athena Breast Health Network (Athena) is a unique collaboration among the five UC medical/cancer centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UCSF), the Graduate School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, and many other public and private partners. Athena is integrating clinical care and research in order to revolutionize the delivery of breast care. By standardizing the collection of data from both patients and physicians, integrating molecular profiling at the time of breast cancer diagnosis, and creating an unparalleled biospecimen repository, Athena will enable personalized care informed by science and will fuel continuous improvement in treatment options and outcomes.
Breast tissue density has not only been linked to an increased risk of cancer, it also decreases the sensitivity of the mammogram and thereby may impact early detection. Thirty-five percent of breast cancer goes undetected by mammography in women with dense breasts, as density masks the appearance of tumors (Boyd et al 2007, NEJM). Since both dense breast tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram, finding cancers can be analogous to looking for a snowball in a snow storm.
Cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA and CE-marked, VolparaDensity is used by radiologists to objectively assess density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis images and help evaluate who might benefit from additional screening. Highly correlated to breast MR assessments, VolparaDensity is a reliable tool which automatically generates an objective, automatic measurement of volumetric breast density and a FDA cleared BI-RADS breast density category. To date, more than 2 million women have had their volumetric breast density analyzed using VolparaDensity. The software is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on the Volpara algorithm which enables the generation of volumetric measurements of density, patient specific dose, applied pressure and more.
“The ability to apply individual risk assessment and a customized breast cancer screening and care plan is a significant step towards personalized medicine. We welcome the opportunity to work with Athena Breast Health Network to integrate VolparaDensity into this groundbreaking effort to develop a tailored breast cancer screening approach,” said Ralph Highnam, CEO of Volpara Solutions.
About Athena Breast Care Network
The Athena Breast Health Network (Athena) is a unique collaboration among the five University of California (UC) medical/cancer centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UCSF), the Graduate School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, and many other public and private partners. The Network takes a transdisciplinary approach by design, and its participants work together across fields including: epidemiology, genetics, molecular biology, psychology and social and behavioral sciences, primary care, radiology, pathology, oncology, surgery and health services research. Also included are clinical staff and genetic counselors, health information technology professionals, health care administrators, and importantly, patient advocates.
Founded to enable radiologists to give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, VolparaSolutions is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Matakina Technology Limited of New Zealand. Volpara’s founders and Board of Directors includes John Hood, PhD, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, UK; Ralph Highnam, PhD, former CEO of Mirada Solutions, one of the University of Oxford’s most successful spin-outs of recent times and co-author of the seminal book Mammographic Image Analysis; and Professor Sir Michael Brady, a serial entrepreneur who recently retired from the University of Oxford where he was Professor of Information Technology for 25 years.
The information stated above was prepared by VolparaSolutions and reflects solely the opinion of the corporation. Nothing in this statement shall be construed to imply any support or endorsement of VolparaSolutions, or any of its products, by The Regents of the University of California, its officers, agents and employees.
Chris K. Joseph
Athena Breast Care Network