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Journal of Radiological Review 2020 March-April;7(2):105-16

DOI: 10.23736/S2723-9284.20.00007-0

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Novel imaging techniques and biological methods for breast cancer evaluation: overview and update

Francesca VALDORA 1 , Katia CORTESE 2, Massimo CALABRESE 3, Gabriele ZOPPOLI 4, 5, Nehmat HOUSSAMI 6, Alberto S. TAGLIAFICO 1, 7

1 Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 2 Section of Human Anatomy, Department of Experimental Medicine (DIMES), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 3 Diagnostic Senology, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy; 4 Department of Internal Medicine (Di.M.I.), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 5 IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy; 6 Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; 7 Department of Radiology, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy


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INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous and complex disease and it is the most common cancer in women in most countries. Since early-stage detection of BC is vital for ensuring the most benefit from treatment, we highlight recent research studies dealing with BC detection and characterization, focusing both on new medical imaging techniques and biological tests. We briefly review the role of new emerging imaging modalities and describe the complementary role of biological methods for BC detection and charaterization such as liquid biopsy, microRNAs, ctDNA, CTCs, and genetic tests.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We conducted a literature review on PubMed/MEDLINE, focusing on recent studies (published after January 2020) to describe new detection methods for BC, covering emerging radiological and biological modalities. Articles in English language were included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Through this review, we support the idea that a synergistic approach integrating the morphological and biological features of BC will probably be the future in the early detection and characterization of BC.
CONCLUSIONS: Radiologists should be kept informed of the potential of new methods for BC detection not strictly based on medical imaging.


KEY WORDS: Breast cancer; Early diagnosis; Liquid biopsy

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