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FP6

MUST — Result In Brief

Project ID: 508252
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Germany

Early diagnosis and decreased mortality of breast cancer

Breast cancer has become the leading cause of death among European women aged 35 – 65. EU-funded researchers developed portable, easy-to-use and cost-effective ultrasound technology that could change that for thousands of women.
Early diagnosis and decreased mortality of breast cancer
Breast cancer currently has a 40 % mortality rate meaning that for every 100,000 women with breast cancer, 40 000 will not survive.

A group of scientists was encouraged by closer analysis of the data. Patients with breast cancer detected before metastases (development of secondary cancers) have a much lower mortality rate compared to those with cancer detected after metastases (20 % versus 65 % mortality, respectively).

Given that early diagnosis is the key to increasing survival rates, the scientists initiated the MUST project to develop highly portable, easy-to-use, fully affordable multidimensional (three-dimensional, 3D) ultrasonic scanning technology.

Ultrasound scans use high-frequency sound waves to image an internal part of the body. Most multidimensional scanning systems suffer from poor image resolution.

They typically consist of a set of sensors for data acquisition and complex, expensive computer hardware/software for data processing and construction of a 3D image from the raw data. Reconstruction of a 3D image directly from the raw data is costly and rarely employed.

Together with three research and technology development (RTD) partners, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from four EU Member States formed a technological and business consortium. They sought to develop cost-effective, high-resolution single-stage generation of 3D images directly from raw data.

The MUST team has formed a supply chain with the ability to get the developed technology to market, putting the power of ultrasound technology into the hands of people who need it throughout Europe and beyond.

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