Stereoscopic mammography systems could be built by simply adding a stereo display to existing digital mammography equipment, Getty says, noting that he and colleagues are meeting with mammography equipment manufacturers to gauge their interest and, also, are seeking funding for further technology development and clinical trials from the National Institutes of Health.
Stereo mammography holds even greater promise as mammography equipment manufacturers such as General Electric Co., based in Fairfield, Conn.; Siemens, AG, headquartered in Munich; and Bedford, Mass.–based Hologic, Inc., develop machines to perform breast digital tomosynthesis, which takes up to 20 images in an arc in front of each breast with each image separated by one or two degrees. Together, these images could be reconstructed and viewed through a stereo mammography system to create a 3-D image of the breast that can be examined from a number of different angles.
"Breast CT [computed tomography] scanning may be the ultimate, but that's a decade away," D'Orsi says. Getty is hoping that ultimately CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of internal organs—such as the prostate and lungs—will also be viewable this way.