Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mortality Among Women Enrolled in MRI enabled Breast Cancer Screening

I've just had an article published in the journal Radiology focusing on the mortality/survivorship results of MRI-enabled breast cancer screening. It takes a very long time to acquire mortality/survivorship data in a breast cancer screening study. Typically a population is followed for a long time (often more than 10 years) in order to establish what percentage of women who develop breast cancer go on to survive the disease many years after a diagnosis from the screening method being tested.
The first results available were provided by a Dutch group (Rijnsburger, Klijn, etc.) indicating a 100% survival in women at elevated risk (women with a family history of breast cancer). Their study also included BRCA mutation carriers who are abnormally challenging to manage (they tend to have dense breasts and they tend to produce aggressive tumours). In the Dutch study 4 of the BRCA mutation carriers died. The Canadian study I cited focuses on BRCA mutation carriers and achieved a 96% survivorship 5.5 years after a cancer diagnosis as part of an MRI-enabled screening program.
The article I just published on this topic is available online here (I can't reproduce it on Spotlight-on-Science due to copyright reasons). The editor in charge of this and related manuscripts invited me to have this article published as part of the print edition. It is available online in advance of Radiology's June print edition which is publishing the letter. Incidentally, after submitting the article but before its publication, an additional group from Norway has released mortality data on MRI-enabled breast cancer screening. A future article here at Spotlight-on-Science will discuss that paper in the context of these other studies highlighted in my Radiology letter.