LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health Participation in TMIST Seeks Answers about Best Breast Cancer Screening

October 11, 2021

doctor holding mammogram

The Gulf South National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), led by LSU Health New Orleans with its partner institutions Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner, has enrolled nearly 2,000 women in a breast cancer screening trial that will help determine the best ways to find breast cancer in women who have no symptoms. Under the direction of the principal investigator Augusto Ochoa, MD, at the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health New Orleans has enrolled more than 900 participants at University Medical Center, with more than 200 at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and more than 600 at LSU Health Shreveport.

The Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, or TMIST, compares 2-D mammograms and 3-D mammograms. 2-D mammograms are the standard mammography procedures, which produce two-dimensional images of the breast. 3-D mammograms feature a 3-D image of the breast made from several low-dose X-rays from different angles around the breast to create the 3-D image.

“This study will determine if 3-D mammography is better than 2-D at finding aggressive breast cancers early in women in different age groups and with different risk factors,” notes Dr. Ochoa.

The main goal of TMIST is to measure and compare the rates of newly diagnosed breast cancer that meet certain criteria, including tumor size, spread, and characteristics such as HER2 positivity and triple-negativity.

Women ages 45 to 74 who plan to get a routine screening mammogram are eligible for this trial. Women who are interested in enrolling may call 866-559-2476.

Once enrolled in the trial, women will be randomly assigned by a computer to receive either 3-D or 2-D screening mammograms for 5 years. The frequency of mammograms will depend on several factors, including age, breast density, family history, use of hormones, and menopausal status. During the study, the results of every mammogram from every woman will be collected, whether the mammograms are normal or not. Information about any medical follow-up, such as more imaging or a biopsy, will also be recorded. All women will be followed until the end of the study for breast cancer status, treatment, and results from treatment.

Researchers are also looking at whether 3-D mammography might help certain groups of women. Questions they are trying to answer include:

• Among the women who receive 3-D mammography, will there be fewer harder-to-treat cancers in certain groups, such as those with dense breasts, African Americans, premenopausal women, and women on hormone replacement therapy?

• Will there be fewer false-positive test results in the entire study group or among certain groups?

• Is there a link between certain findings from the mammograms and the most aggressive breast cancers?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with branch campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or

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