Study Published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute Demonstrates High Heritability of Volumetric Breast Density

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Karolinska Institute Researchers use Volpara Solutions’ Volumetric Breast Density Software to Validate Genetic Relationship between Density and Breast Cancer Risk

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Our results confirm the high heritability of volumetric density and support the notion that mammographic density is a risk factor under strong genetic influence” said Professor Per Hall, Karolinska’s Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

A study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), demonstrates the high heritability of volumetric breast density and validates the genetic influence of breast density on breast cancer risk. (DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju334). Conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the article, “Volumetric mammographic density: heritability and association with breast cancer susceptibility loci,” was designed to explore the genetic relationship between breast density and breast cancer risk by analyzing associations with genetic variations, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNPs), connected to breast cancer.

“While research has shown that mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, the relationship between genetics and breast density are not completely understood. Our results confirm the high heritability of volumetric density and support the notion that mammographic density is a risk factor under strong genetic influence,” said Professor Per Hall from the Karolinska’s Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “While this genetic relationship does not fully explain variations in mammographic density, the observed associations with individual SNPs are relevant as they will continue to provide insight into the biological mechanisms leading to breast cancer in women with dense breasts.”

KARMA (KARolinska MAmmography Project for Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer) is a prospective cohort study initiated in January 2011 and comprises 70,876 women attending mammography screening or clinical mammography at four hospitals in Sweden. In this study, researchers used Volpara’s software to measure volumetric breast density for 908 full-sisters and 47 half-sisters to evaluate the heritability of volumetric mammographic density. The association of volumetric breast density with 82 established breast cancer loci (SNPs) was assessed in an independent sample of more than 4,000 unrelated women using linear models, adjusting for age, body mass index and menopausal status.

While area-based density measures have been used to identify a genetic relationship to breast density in twins, the Karolinska study is the first to use a fully automated volumetric breast density measurement tool. Results demonstrated that volumetric density is highly heritable and showed comparable heritability traits as area-based measures.

In a large-scale study also recently published, Karolinska researchers concluded that automated measurement of volumetric mammographic density using VolparaDensity is a promising tool for widespread breast cancer risk assessment.

“This study is another example of the pioneering work Karolinska researchers are performing to better understand the genetic relationship between cancer risk and volumetric breast density,” said Ralph Highnam, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and CEO, Volpara Solutions. “We are proud that VolparaDensity is an integral part of this research to validate the heritability of volumetric breast density and to help discover how to prevent the development of breast cancer in women with dense breasts.”

Cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA and CE-marked, VolparaDensity is in use at breast imaging centers worldwide to help radiologists objectively assess density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis images to help doctors evaluate who might benefit from additional screening. Highly correlated to breast MR assessments, VolparaDensity is a reliable tool that automatically generates an objective measurement of volumetric breast density correlated to the ACR (American College of Radiology) breast density categories. To date, more than 4-million women have had their breast density analyzed, using VolparaDensity. VolparaDensity is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on the VolparaSolutions algorithm that allows for personalized measurements of density, patient dose, breast compression and other factors designed to help maintain accuracy and consistent quality in breast screening.

About KARMA
The Karolinska Mammography Project for Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer (KARMA; karmastudy.org) is creating the world’s best-characterized breast cancer cohort. The aim is to reduce the mortality and incidence in breast cancer through translational research focusing on breast cancer prevention. The Karma project is conducted in close collaboration with four hospitals in Sweden, Södersjukhuset, Helsingborg, Landskrona and Lund. Women attending a mammography, screening or clinical, at any of these hospitals are invited to participate in the Karma project. KARMA is supported by Marit and Hans Rausing initiative against breast cancer and The Swedish Research Council.

About Volpara Solutions
Founded to enable radiologists to give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, Volpara Solutions is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Matakina Technology Limited of New Zealand. Cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA, and CE-marked, VolparaDensity provides an objectively volumetric measure of breast density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis images. VolparaDensity is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on the Volpara Solutions algorithm that allows for personalized measurements of density, patient dose, breast compression and other factors designed to help maintain accuracy and consistent quality in breast screening. For more information, visit http://www.volparasolutions.com

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Contacts:

For Volpara Solutions                 
Chris K. Joseph                        
510/435-4031                        
chris(dot)joseph(at)volparasolutions(dot)com

For KARMA
Research: Per(dot)hall(at)ki(dot)se
Technical: mikael(dot)eriksson(at)ki(dot)se

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Chris K Joseph
Volpara
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