Evaluation of Adjunctive Ultrasonography for Breast Cancer Detection among Women Aged 40-49 Years with Varying Breast Density Undergoing Screening Mammography: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Narumi Harada-Shoji, Akihiko Suzuki, Takanori Ishida, Geiho Tei, Yoko Narikawa-Shiono, Akiko Sato-Tadano, Rie Ohta, Noriaki Ohuchi

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Abstract

Importance: Mammography has limited accuracy in breast cancer screening. Ultrasonography, when used in conjunction with mammography screening, is helpful to detect early-stage and invasive cancers for asymptomatic women with dense and nondense breasts. Objective: To evaluate the performance of adjunctive ultrasonography with mammography for breast cancer screening, according to differences in breast density. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study is a secondary analysis of the Japan Strategic Anti-cancer Randomized Trial. Between July 2007 and March 2011, asymptomatic women aged 40 to 49 years were enrolled in Japan. The present study used data from cases enrolled from the screening center in Miyagi prefecture during 2007 to 2020. Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to undergo either mammography with ultrasonography (intervention group) or mammography alone (control group). Data analysis was performed from February to March 2020. Exposures: Ultrasonography adjunctive to mammography for breast cancer screening regardless of breast density. Main Outcomes and Measures: Sensitivity, specificity, recall rates, biopsy rates, and characteristics of screen-detected cancers and interval breast cancers were evaluated between study groups and for each modality according to breast density. Results: A total of 76119 women were enrolled, and data for 19213 women (mean [SD] age, 44.5 [2.8] years) from the Miyagi prefecture were analyzed; 9705 were randomized to the intervention group and 9508 were randomized to the control group. A total of 11390 women (59.3%) had heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts. Among the overall group, 130 cancers were found. Sensitivity was significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group (93.2% [95% CI, 87.4%-99.0%] vs 66.7% [95% CI, 54.4%-78.9%]; P <.001). Similar trends were observed in women with dense breasts (sensitivity in intervention vs control groups, 93.2% [95% CI, 85.7%-100.0%] vs 70.6% [95% CI, 55.3%-85.9%]; P <.001) and nondense breasts (sensitivity in intervention vs control groups, 93.1% [95% CI, 83.9%-102.3%] vs 60.9% [95% CI, 40.9%-80.8%]; P <.001). The rate of interval cancers per 1000 screenings was lower in the intervention group compared with the control group (0.5 cancers [95% CI, 0.1-1.0 cancers] vs 2.0 cancers [95% CI, 1.1-2.9 cancers]; P =.004). Within the intervention group, the rate of invasive cancers detected by ultrasonography alone was significantly higher than that for mammography alone in both dense (82.4% [95% CI, 56.6%-96.2%] vs 41.7% [95% CI, 15.2%-72.3%]; P =.02) and nondense (85.7% [95% CI, 42.1%-99.6%] vs 25.0% [95% CI, 5.5%-57.2%]; P =.02) breasts. However, sensitivity of mammography or ultrasonography alone did not exceed 80% across all breast densities in the 2 groups. Compared with the control group, specificity was significantly lower in the intervention group (91.8% [95% CI, 91.2%-92.3%] vs 86.8% [95% CI, 86.2%-87.5%]; P <.001). Recall rates (13.8% [95% CI, 13.1%-14.5%] vs 8.6% [95% CI, 8.0%-9.1%]; P <.001) and biopsy rates (5.5% [95% CI, 5.1%-6.0%] vs 2.1% [95% CI, 1.8%-2.4%]; P <.001) were significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group. Conclusions and Relevance: In this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial, screening mammography alone demonstrated low sensitivity, whereas adjunctive ultrasonography was associated with increased sensitivity. These findings suggest that adjunctive ultrasonography has the potential to improve detection of early-stage and invasive cancers across both dense and nondense breasts. Supplemental ultrasonography should be considered as an appropriate imaging modality for breast cancer screening in asymptomatic women aged 40 to 49 years regardless of breast density. Trial Registration: NIPH Clinical Trial Identifier: UMIN000000757.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21505
JournalJAMA network open
Volume4
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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