A Low-Cost Breast Cancer Triage System for Low and Middle-Income Countries

Love, Susan ;   Berg, Wendie ;   Podilchuk, Christine ;   Jairaj, Ajit ;   Barinov, Lev ;   Hulbert, William ;   Mammone, Richard

We propose a low-cost ultrasound imaging system with breast cancer triage capabilities for economically developing nations. In these countries, breast cancer commonly presents in women as a palpable lump. The Clearview Triage System identifies women with suspicious lesions to be referred for biopsy while women with benign-appearing lesions could be reassured and sent home. The computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system for breast cancer triage can be applied to images captured with a low-cost, portable ultrasound imaging device to provide a cost-effective solution for areas of the world that do not have access to breast cancer screening or expensive diagnostic technologies. Ultrasound has been proven to be very effective in imaging palpable lumps, is non-ionizing, and affordable, portable platforms exist. The automated triage capabilities allow for healthcare providers with minimal training to operate the system by applying the transducer to the palpable lump and obtaining a reading from the CAD system for patient care. Bench testing results on 1510 lesions are encouraging, showing a sensitivity of 92% and a reduction in benign biopsies of 40% compared to usual practice. A validation study is currently under way at Keck Medical Center of USC and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. If awarded, Phase II of this project will include a large validation study in Jalisco, Mexico.