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Implementation of an ultrasonic platform for generating 3D elastographic images of the breast

Grant number: 23/07837-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): May 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Medical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Antonio Adilton Oliveira Carneiro
Grantee:Lucas Murilo da Costa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/16939-8 - Development and implementation of novel acoustic, magnetic and optical techniques for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, AP.TEM


Breast cancer has the highest incidence, accounting for about 56.33% of cases, excluding skin cancer (melanoma type). It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women of all ages, and the first among 40 to 59 years old. According to statistics, 63 women out of 100,000 will develop a breast tumor in their lifetime. It is known that, currently, if the diagnosis and treatment are carried out early, the expectations of survival - and cure in 5 years - reach close to 100% (for stage I - early diagnosis). Thus, the need for premature diagnostic follow-up is justified, seeking the patient's survival.X-ray mammography is the modality most used in routine breast diagnosis, with a sensitivity of 77.9% and specificity of 97.0%. In this exam, the woman has her breasts compressed, causing great discomfort.Ultrasonography is already established as a complementary exam for the diagnosis of breast lesions, mainly for investigations of young breasts (< 40 years old) where it has a sensitivity of 93.0% and specificity of 96.6% for lesions in dense breasts. It is a painless, low-cost modality that poses very low risks to the patient's health when compared to ionizing techniques. The investigation of the mechanical properties of the breast using ultrasound elastographic techniques has advanced in the last 10 years, and is already part of the clinical routine. As it is operator-dependent, the use of new ultrasonic technologies in the clinical environment becomes limited, especially with regard to elastographic techniques. When well established and applied, elastographic techniques can help identify changes in the mechanical properties (viscoelastic) of the internal structures of the breast tissue.Due to the operator-dependent limitation, some studies have been trying to implement robots for positioning and manipulating the transducer and thus maximize the potential of ultrasound in the diagnosis of breast cancer, seeking three-dimensional views and reproducibility in clinical follow-up. In the ultrasound laboratory coordinated by the beneficiary of this project, a robotic system is being developed to generate 3D anatomical images of the breast. Preliminary results have already shown the viability of this methodology for clinical application. In this project, the implementation of a system comprising 3D elastographic techniques for the automated diagnosis of the mechanical properties of the breast tissue is being proposed. (AU)

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