Imaging Network for Breast Cancer Mass Screening

Period of Performance: 08/01/2001 - 07/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Artann Laboratories, Inc.
Trenton, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose an internet-based dynamic imaging system for detecting and monitoring changes in structural properties of breast tissue that are indicative of breast cancer development. The method is based on the use of the proprietary Mechanical Imaging technology implemented in a small hand-held home-use self-palpation imaging device. The device is able to translate tissue's elastic properties into a digital map of the breast, to objectively detect the presence of suspicious lesions and, if necessary, to provide a woman with a warning signal "see your doctor". Data collected on a regular basis, e.g. once a week, will be sent via Internet to a central database to form a four-dimensional (3-D plus time) image that will be analyzed by a computer and a physician. This project will lay a the foundation for a new approach to diagnostic medical imaging by adding the temporal component to an image, by monitoring image changes over time using data from an individual home-use device linked to a database. The application of machine-learning algorithms for developing a notion of "individual norm" for a particular woman using dynamic features of image and the image mining will dramatically improve the sensitivity and diagnostic efficacy of the imaging for a population wide screening. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The hand-held home-use Mechanical Imaging self-palpation device connected via Internet to a central database will serve as a mass-screening tool for the primary detection of breast cancer. The convenience, efficacy and affordability of this technology will provide the foundation for the development of new markets for a product that should be a necessary item for every woman over 30 year of age with the market potential in excess of 1 billion dollar per year in the US alone.