Tumor volume doubling time estimated from digital breast tomosynthesis mammograms distinguishes invasive breast cancers from benign lesions

Negar Sadeghipour, Joseph Tseng, Kristen Anderson, Shivani Ayalasomayajula, Andrew Kozlov, Debra Ikeda, Wendy DeMartini, Sharon S. Hori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine whether lesion size metrics on consecutive screening mammograms could predict malignant invasive carcinoma versus benign lesion outcome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed suspicious screen-detected lesions confirmed by biopsy to be invasive breast cancers or benign that were visible on current and in-retrospect prior screening mammograms performed with digital breast tomosynthesis from 2017 to 2020. Four experienced radiologists recorded mammogram dates, breast density, lesion type, lesion diameter, and morphology on current and prior exams. We used logistic regression models to evaluate the association of invasive breast cancer outcome with lesion size metrics such as maximum dimension, average dimension, volume, and tumor volume doubling time (TVDT). Results: Twenty-eight patients with invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma and 40 patients with benign lesions were identified. The mean TVDT was significantly shorter for invasive breast cancers compared to benign lesions (0.84 vs. 2.5 years; p = 0.0025). Patients with a TVDT of less than 1 year were shown to have an odds ratio of invasive cancer of 6.33 (95% confidence interval, 2.18–18.43). Logistic regression adjusted for age, lesion maximum dimension, and lesion volume demonstrated that shorter TVDT was the size variable significantly associated with invasive cancer outcome. Conclusion: Invasive breast cancers detected on current and in-retrospect prior screening mammograms are associated with shorter TVDT compared to benign lesions. If confirmed to be sufficiently predictive of benignity in larger studies, lesions visible on mammograms which in comparison to prior exams have longer TVDTs could potentially avoid additional imaging and/or biopsy. Key Points: • We propose tumor volume doubling time as a measure to distinguish benign from invasive breast cancer lesions. • Logistic regression results summarized the utility of the odds ratio in retrospective clinical mammography data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Logistic models
  • Mammography
  • Odds ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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