Co-registered MRI and ultrasound imaging for improved detection and treatment of breast cancer

For this project, we will be improving a novel magnetic resonance (MRI) and ultrasound (US) imaging platform, which will improve diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer patients.  A specialized MRI-US tool has been developed by Sentinelle Medical Inc. (SMI) which helps guide US-imaging of tumours that are initially found using MRI.  The main goals of this project are to validate the accuracy of this tool and demonstrate its efficacy in the clinic.  MRI is commonly used for the detection of breast lesions, but non-cancerous conditions can have the appearance of cancer on MR images.  In these cases a biopsy is done, generally under US-guidance.  However, not all MRI-visible lesions are also visible on US.  A primary focus of this work will be to use SMI’s MRI-US tool to help identify these lesions that are invisible on US but can be seen on MRI.  The MRI-US tool will be used to help guide US biopsy of these lesions, and more advanced imaging techniques will also be examined for their potential to highlight tumours.  These will include techniques that highlight tumours based on their increased stiffness relative to the surrounding tissue and/or the highly vascular nature of cancerous tumours.  This project will improve our ability to care for cancer patients, using a novel multi-modality (MRI and US) system.  This work will directly benefit breast cancer patients, hopefully reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries.  This will reduce stress on the individual patient, and it will also reduce overall cost to the health care system.

Peter Bevan
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Michael Noseworthy