Breast Imaging

The mission of the Section of Breast Imaging within the Department of Radiology is to provide excellent comprehensive screening and diagnostic breast health care for our patients. In addition we pursue broad-ranging educational activities and serve as an educational resource both within the institution and beyond. Our clinical research pursuits encompass investigation of multimodality diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for breast cancer evaluation in both human and animal models.

We provide a full spectrum of Mammographic, Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance imaging and breast Interventional procedures. Our screening clinic provides service to the surrounding community and we are a referral center for the evaluation of patients with difficult diagnostic problems and those with newly diagnosed breast cancer. We work collaboratively with the breast medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons and pathologists, and hold a weekly management interdisciplinary conference. At this conference, all of the clinical, imaging and pathologic data for every new cancer patient is provided and reviewed, and treatment options discussed.

We are transiting to a fully digital environment for mammography screening and diagnosis. At present we have two full- field digital mammography units in the diagnostic clinic and an additional two more units are planned for the screening clinic. We use a stereotaxic table for image-guided biopsy procedures, and two state-of–the-art ultrasound units for diagnosis and intervention, are planned to replace the existing Philips HDI 5000 units later this year. We have access to two 1.5 Tesla magnets with dedicated breast coils and computer-assisted visualization and analysis tools for evaluating breast magnetic resonance examinations.

Our translational research efforts involve close collaboration between breast radiologists, medical physicists, pathologists and oncologists. Much of our research focuses on imaging of early breast cancer with MRI. We have developed methods for studying disease progression of early breast cancer in mice, using a 9.4 Tesla research magnet, with the goal of improving our understanding of the patho-physiology of non-invasive breast cancer. We collaborate with Dr. Gregory Karczmar and colleagues, to optimize imaging methods for detection of small cancers, using novel MRI techniques. Investigation of therapeutic methods for treating early cancer with ultrasound ablation is in the planning phase. Our investigations, with Dr. Maryellen Giger and medical physics colleagues continue, with emphasis on multimodality applications for computer-aided analysis methods (CAD) in breast imaging.

We have received grant funding to evaluate axillary lymph nodes for metastatic disease, using ultrasound, MRI and CAD methods.

A major 5 year grant from the National Cancer Institute, Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) was awarded in 2006 for “Imaging determination of Breast Cancer Risk, and MR detection of pre-cancerous or early cancerous lesions”.

Faculty

David Schacht, MD
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Section Chief, Breast Imaging
Assistant Director, Radiology Resdidency Program

Hiroyuki Abe, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiology
Director of Breast Imaging Research

Kirti Kulkarni, MD
Assistant Professor of Radiology

Charlene Sennett, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology