Volpara Solutions today released results from a study of its Volpara Density measuring software, touting the benefits of the software for improving mammography performance measures.
The study included 111,898 mammograms from 53,239 women who were part of the Dutch Breast Screening Program, the New Zealand-based company said.
Results from the study suggest that automatically measuring breast density using the Volpara Density software produces results with higher reproducibility than through visual assessments, and could help with implementing density-based supplemental screenings.
“There have been several studies that have demonstrated the impact of breast density on the sensitivity of mammography, including a recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology that showed a strong linear relationship between volumetric breast density and sensitivity. However, this is the 1st large-scale study to also demonstrate a strong relationship between volumetric density and other screening performance measures like recall rate, false positives or interval cancers. With the high reproducibility of the automatic Volpara Density software, this could help with evaluating risk and better inform clinical decisions about adjunctive screening options based on women’s specific density and other risk factors,” study researcher Dr Carla van Gils said in a prepared statement.
Data in the study indicated that increased breast density had a strong linear relationship to all screening performance measures except positive predictive values. The rate of recalls, false positives and total and interval breast cancers in higher breast density patients were greater than those with lower, Volpara said.
Study results indicated that women with extremely dense breasts were 7 times as likely to have an interval cancer and twice as likely to receive a false positive than those with very fatty breasts.
“This indicates that the detection of invasive breast cancers in screening is hampered to a larger extent than the detection of in situ breast cancers. A possible explanation for this is that the visibility of microcalcifications is not hampered as much in dense tissue as the visibility of invasive breast cancers. Studying this relationship further could be very important as we further develop our understanding of the effectiveness of screening,” Dr van Gils said in a press release.