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"" Ann Bonham named acting executive associate dean ""
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"" Traditional test for predicting heart disease found unreliable ""
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  Immune, protein alterations found in blood samples of children with autism  
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  Brain region recovery possible in former methamphetamine users  
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  CT technology may be gentler, more accurate than mammography  
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  Town raises $1 million to fight cancer  
     
  Researchers discover new link between C-reactive protein and heart disease, stroke  
     
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  NEWS
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CT technology may be gentler, more accurate than mammography

A new breast screening technology that may be able to detect tumors earlier than mammography — without the need for uncomfortable breast compression — is being tested in patients at UC Davis Medical Center.

"We think this technology may allow radiologists to routinely detect breast tumors the size of a small pea," said John M. Boone, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at UC Davis and the machine's developer. "In contrast, mammography detects tumors that are about the size of a garbanzo bean."

Unlike mammography, in which the breast is squeezed between two plates, the breast CT machine requires no breast compression. The patient lies face down on a padded table. The table has a circular opening in it, through which the patient places one breast at a time. A CT machine under the table scans each breast. The screening takes about 17 seconds per breast.

Boone and his colleagues are testing the new technology in a clinical trial that will enroll about 190 patients. If the trial confirms that breast CT detects tumors as well as mammography, the next step will be a larger trial to determine whether the new technology can indeed detect tumors earlier than mammography. Boone believes that a more extensive trial could be under way within two to three years.

The breast CT project was funded by $6 million in grants from the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

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UC DAVIS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Sacramento, CA 95820

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© 2005 UC Regents. All rights reserved.

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