Optical identification of subjects at high risk for developing breast cancer

Paola Taroni, Giovanna Quarto, Antonio Pifferi, Francesca Ieva, Anna Maria Paganoni, Francesca Abbate, Nicola Balestreri, Simona Menna, Enrico Cassano, Rinaldo Cubeddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A time-domain multiwavelength (635 to 1060 nm) optical mammography was performed on 147 subjects with recent X-ray mammograms available, and average breast tissue composition (water, lipid, collagen, oxy-and deoxyhemoglobin) and scattering parameters (amplitude a and slope b) were estimated. Correlation was observed between optically derived parameters and mammographic density [Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System (BI-RADS) categories], which is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. A regression logistic model was obtained to best identify high-risk (BI-RADS 4) subjects, based on collagen content and scattering parameters. The model presents a total misclassification error of 12.3%, sensitivity of 69%, specificity of 94%, and simple kappa of 0.84, which compares favorably even with intraradiologist assignments of BI-RADS categories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060507
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • absorption
  • breast cancer
  • breast density
  • scattering
  • tissue spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Medicine(all)


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