Three new advanced technologies are giving hope to the more than 200,000 women in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
A recent study shows that a cutting edge treatment technique may prove more effective and produce fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy. A treatment called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) has the ability to wrap a dose of radiation around the tumor. This differs from older procedures, which radiated not just the tumor but also a larger margin of normal tissues and organs surrounding the tumor, sometimes leading to troublesome side effects.
Breast cancer patients are just the latest group to benefit from this advanced radiation therapy. Doctors also use IMRT to help treat prostate cancer and cancers of the head and neck. IMRT may also reduce the overall costs of cancer treatment.
Another technology, called DyNeMo, analyzes networks of proteins in cancer cells. Analysis of more than 350 patients found that those who survive breast cancer have a different organization of the network of proteins within the tumor cells, compared with patients who succumbed to the illness. The study was led by the Mount Sinai Hospital team and co-authored by researchers at the University of Toronto and London, England's The Institute for Cancer Research.
DyNeMo can be used to predict the outcome in a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient and then assist clinicians and patients in making informed decisions on treatment. In the future, this tool may be used to analyze other types of cancer and could be used to predict an individual's response to particular drugs.
And recently, a new screening technology has been introduced by Siemens Healthcare. Siemens Healthcare introduced a breakthrough innovation called Automated Breast Volume Scanner (ABVS). ABVS automatically acquires volume images of the breast, helping in comprehensive screening using ultrasound. This new technology comfortably images patients with dense breast tissue or with a history of breast disease.
The machine is equipped to ensure accurate and consistent diagnosis.