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Clinicians use several very different types of medical images – e.g. x-ray, MRI and ultrasound – to look for breast cancer. The images are so different that it can be hard for specialists to match features of interest (e.g. suspicious lesions) between the images, and for the human eye to tell whether or not a lesion is cancer. In some cases, these uncertainties can lead to false positives and unnecessary treatment.
Professor Martyn Nash and his team at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute will use a $130,000 grant from BCFNZ to work on The Breast Atlas Project. They’re developing innovative technology right here in New Zealand that uses computer modelling and machine-learning to detect breast cancer. First, they must gather many medical images of the breast for the project’s database. This database will then be used to develop powerful new tools to detect breast cancer and to improve treatment strategies and care.