CHAPEL HILL - Studies of a new X-ray imaging method show the technique produces significantly better pictures of breast tissue than conventional X-rays and could make mammography more effective in revealing tumors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists say.
If further work on it succeeds, the technology could be used widely, the researchers say.
A team led by Drs. Etta Pisano, professor of radiology at the UNC-CH School of Medicine, and Dale Sayers, professor of physics at N.C. State University, is developing what it calls Diffraction Enhanced Imaging, or DEI. Other institutions involved include Brookhaven National Laboratory's National Synchrotron Light Source, the Illinois Institute of Technology and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.
"The images we have, which are the first to be published using this new DEI technology, are just spectacular," said Pisano, also chief of breast imaging and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Once we've overcome some technical challenges and adapted it for clinical use, DEI conceivably could be used not only in breast imaging, but in any medical and non-medical application involving X-rays. The sky's really the limit."
A report on the latest research appears in the March issue of Radiology, a top medical journal. Besides Pisano and Sayers, authors are Drs. R. Eugene Johnston, David B. Washburn, Mary V. Iacocca and Chad Livasy of radiology and pathology at UNC-CH, as well as graduate student Miklas Z. Kiss of N.C. State. Others are Drs. Dean Chapman of IIT, Joseph Geradts, formerly of UNC-CH but now at Oxford University in England, Zhong Zhong of Brookhaven and William Tomlinson of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
The new research involved creating images of seven breast cancer tissue specimens at Brookhaven using the DEI technique and conventional digital X-ray images at UNC-CH. Researchers then carefully compared the images an
Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill