Simulations of every woman's breast tissue address delay on enhanced MRI cancer detection
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IMAGE: There are far fewer computer models of the female body compared to the male body, making it difficult for researchers to predict that a new MRI technique would be safe… view more 

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Credit: Purdue University image/Xin Li

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — No woman’s breast tissue is the same, so MRIs detecting and monitoring cancer shouldn’t treat them all the same.

Without a way to prove that a new MRI technique is safe for all women, clinical MRIs haven’t been able to keep pace with the latest advances in MRI research. More informative cancer detection is possible with stronger magnetic fields that also, unfortunately, increase the risk of tissue heating during a screening.

Purdue University researchers have simulated how over 20 different breast tissue ratios respond to heat given off by MRIs at higher field strengths than available in hospitals today.

The simulations would allow cutting-edge MRI techniques to finally show that they meet safety limits, as defined by entities like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and start clinical trials for real-life use.

On the flip side, using knowledge about how much radiofrequency energy each breast tissue ratio can handle, new techniques could one day target the heat produced from an MRI at tumors to

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