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Assessment of a tumour growth model for virtual clinical trials of breast cancer screening

In the project I am involved with we are trying to simulate breast and breast cancer tumours. The simulations can assist and support clinical research, by predicting treatment plans and diagnostic tools in breast cancer screening. In addition, we try to assess the growth rate of tumours in women in Sweden, in order to identify which tumours that are less aggressive and where unnecessary interventions could potentially be avoided.

We have developed a tumour growth model based on data from clinical tumour growth rates in Malmö, Sweden. The aim is to simulate a continuation of the Malmö Breast Tomosynthesis Screening Trial, by setting up a virtual clinical trial (VCT). We have evaluated our tumour growth model and shown that there is no significant difference between clinical and estimated growth rates. This implies that the proposed tumour growth model has close agreement with clinical result, which supports its potential use in VCTs of breast imaging.

Currently, we are aiming at refining our simulations and the tumour growth model, to enable simulations of realistic breast models that can be used for predicting clinical outcomes. This will involve further research regarding clinical tumour growth and other tumour characteristics. We will also continue with observer studies on our simulated mammograms, as we progress with our simulations.

With this project we hope to add an additional tool to clinical research regarding breast cancer and breast cancer screening.