VBCSS News

Sprague Study Provides New National Benchmarks for Diagnostic Mammography Performance

February 28, 2017

The shift from film to digital technology for diagnostic mammography appears to have improved cancer detection rates for diagnostic mammography, but also has increased the abnormal interpretation rate, which may lead to more women undergoing biopsies for benign conditions, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology.

VBCSS trainee Vicki Hart wins Dean's Excellence in Research Award

November 1, 2016

Dr. Vicki Hart received a Dean's Excellence in Research Trainee Award for Outstanding Research Publication/Postdoctoral Fellows at the inaugural Larner College of Medicine's "Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards" event held on November 1, 2016.  Dean Morin and Associate Dean for Research Jensen presented Dr. Hart with the award for her paper titled "Trends in health related quality of life following a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ", which was published earlier this year in Journal of Clinical Oncology.  Dr. Hart conducted the study as a postdoctoral researcher with the VBCSS.

VBCSS Collaboration with Simulation Modeling Groups Reveals Women with Dense Breasts Need More Frequent Screening

August 22, 2016

One size doesn’t fit all women in clothing, and neither should all women have mammograms on the same schedule, a new national study concludes.  A large computer modeling study led by Dr. Amy Trentham-Dietz of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center found that the majority of women ages 50 to 74 can benefit if they have mammograms every two or three years. These women at average risk can retain most of the benefit of having mammograms less often and greatly reduce the chances of false positive results and unneeded biopsies and overdiagnosis, the study concludes.

Sprague Study Finds “Dense Breasts” Diagnosis Varies Widely Among Radiologists

July 22, 2016

In May, Vermont became the 28th state to adopt legislation mandating reporting of breast density information to patients. New University of Vermont (UVM) research - published July 18, 2016 in the Annals of Internal Medicine - shows that density assessment, as currently practiced, is subjective and highly variable across radiologists and warns of the implications of relying on the subjective measurement for clinical decision-making for breast cancer screening.

WCAX television segment

Sprague, Weaver & Stein to Study Mechanisms Underlying Idle vs. Progressive Early Stage Breast Cancers

November 11, 2015

While better technology and screening practices have led to the detection of more breast cancers in women—many of which fall into a broad category of early-stage cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS—researchers still do not understand why some of these early cancers remain idle, while others progress. With the support of a new, $3.7 million federal grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Vermont (UVM) Cancer Center will be looking to answer this question.

WCAX television segment

Sprague Study Finds Menopausal Status a Better Indicator than Age for Mammography Frequency

October 20, 2015

Premenopausal women, or women still experiencing menstruation, over age 40 may want annual mammograms to increase their chances of finding cancers earlier, suggests a new study that found a screening mammogram once every two years is safe for postmenopausal women at average risk of breast cancer. The results are reported in the October 21, 2015 Online First edition of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology.

Weaver Study Examines Diagnostic Accuracy of Pathologists’ Interpretations of Breast Biopsies

March 17, 2015

The accuracy of pathologists’ diagnoses is an important and under-studied area. Now, a new study released this week in the March 17 issue of JAMA reports that pathologists interpreting breast biopsies have high levels of agreement on the most serious of breast cancers – invasive – and lower levels of agreement for biopsy interpretations of ductal carcinoma in situ, commonly referred to as DCIS, and atypical hyperplasia, also referred to as “atypia.”

WCAX television segment

Sprague Study Shows Supplemental Breast Cancer Screening for Women with Dense Breasts Not Beneficial

December 8, 2014

A new study released in the Annals of Internal Medicine and led by Brian Sprague, Ph.D., at the University of Vermont Cancer Center concludes that supplemental ultrasound screening for women with dense breasts would substantially increase costs with little improvement in overall outcomes. The research provides needed evidence on the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening options for women with dense breasts, and informs the discussion of national legislation that would mandate the disclosure of breast density information to women.

WCAX television segment