Breast cancer detection made more precise

In Featured, J Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, News, Research & Innovation

A new 3D imaging device may change the future of breast cancer detection.

David Gilland, a professor in the University of Florida’s J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), has worked in conjunction with researchers from the Department of Energy to create a 3D imaging device that shows tumors more accurately than traditional imagers. This new device uses a molecular imaging gamma camera to provide greater image quality of cancer cells, while decreasing the necessary radiation dosage to patients for screening procedures.

“We have been modeling the performance of the system for a few years and were encouraged when these experimental results agreed so well with the model,” said Gilland. “This will give us confidence in using the model to further optimize the system to achieve even better performance.”

Gilland and his research team reconstructed 3D images of laboratory-produced breast phantoms. Similar to how our eyes view objects from different angles to judge distance, these images can be used to distinguished distance and locations of potential tumors. The team’s test results indicated that the 3D image’s contrast of lesions was up to six times more accurate and could potentially cut the radiation dosage needed for these procedures by half – all while maintaining the same or better image quality of tumors.

“Cancer detection systems that can reduce the adverse effects of radiation and simultaneously increase imaging accuracy are critical for improving patient care,” said Christine Schmidt, chair of BME. “I am proud that Dr. Gilland has been part of the collaborative team to develop and test this new life saving breast cancer screening modality.”

Gilland uses his background in medical imaging to specialize in the design of novel imaging devices and image processing algorithms in the area of molecular imaging. He joined the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in 2000, where he leads the SPECT/PET Imaging Lab.

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