MR spectroscopy identifies breast cancer, reduces biopsies

OAK BROOK, Ill.—Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H MRS) used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can aid radiologists in diagnosing breast cancer while reducing the number of false-positive results and invasive biopsies, according to a study focusing on non-mass enhancing breast lesions. The study, conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, appears in the October issue of the journal Radiology.

“All of the cancers present in this study were identified with MR spectroscopy,” said the study’s lead author, Lia Bartella, M.D., director of breast imaging at Eastside Diagnostic Imaging in New York City.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. MRI is playing an increasingly important role in the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer. However, while MRI depicts more abnormal findings than other breast screening procedures, it is not 100 percent accurate in distinguishing benign from malignant lesions, resulting in a large number of breast biopsy procedures recommended on the basis of imaging findings. Currently, approximately 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.

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