Associate Professor Nehmat Houssami MBBS, FAFPHM, FASBP, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor
Principal Research Fellow

Public Health, School of Public Health

A27 - Edward Ford Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

F: +61 2 9351 5049
W: Related website

Biographical details

Breast Physician and Public Health Physician with expertise in breast cancer, in particular diagnosis and screening; leads the breast cancer research portfolio in the Screening & Test Evaluation Program (STEP), School of Public Health.

Research interests

Impact of testing on clinical outcomes in breast cancer; evidence-based practice in breast diagnostics; pre-operative MRI in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer; diagnostic test accuracy; image-guided intervention; breast imaging in young women; population breast screening; screening women with a personal history of breast cancer (cancer survivors); systematic reviews.

Current national competitive grants*


Informing women about over-diagnosis in mammography screening: a randomised trial
McCaffery K, Barratt A, Jansen J, Houssami N, Dhillon H, McGeechan K
NHMRC: Project Grant ($428,447 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney


Cancer Screening; Public health; Diagnostic imaging; Breast cancer; Epidemiology

International links

United States. (Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein Medical Center; University of Pennsylvania) Research collaboration; Senior clinical collaborator L.Solin.
United Kingdom. (Edinburgh Breast Unit, Scotland) Current research project - senior clinical collaborator: JM Dixon.
United States. (Miami Miller School of Medicine) Research - senior collaborator Prof. M Pegram.
Italy. (Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica (ISPO), Florence) Current collaborative research projects.
United Kingdom. (Cancer Research UK: Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics and Statistics, Wolfson Institute of PreventiveMedicine, London. Collaborator: Professor S. Duffy) Research collaboration - breast screening.


2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


  • Houssami, N., Turner, R., Morrow, M. (2013), Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Breast Cancer: Meta-Analysis of Surgical Outcomes. Annals of Surgery. 257(2), 249-255. [Abstract]
  • Tagliafico, A., Tagliafico, G., Cavagnetto, F., Calabrese, M., Houssami, N. (2013), Estimation of percentage breast tissue density: comparison between digital mammography (2D full field digital mammography) and digital breast tomosynthesis according to different BI-RADS categories. British Journal of Radiology. 86(1031), 20130255. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N. (2013), STORM, a new dimension for mammography screening. The Medical Journal of Australia. 199, 308-309. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Zackrisson, S. (2013), Digital breast tomosynthesis: the future of mammography screening or much ado about nothing?. Expert Review of Medical Devices. 10, 583-585. [Abstract]
  • Marinovich, M., Macaskill, P., Irwig, L., Sardanelli, F., von Minckwitz, G., Mamounas, E., Brennan, M., Ciatto, S., Houssami, N. (2013), Meta-analysis of agreement between MRI and pathologic breast tumour size after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. British Journal of Cancer. 109(6), 1528-1536. [Abstract]
  • Ciatto, S., Houssami, N., Bernardi, D., Caumo, F., Pellegrini, M., Brunelli, S., Tuttobene, P., Bricolo, P., Fanto, C., Valentini, M., Montemezzi, S., Macaskill, P. (2013), Integration of 3D digital mammography with tomosynthesis for population breast-cancer screening (STORM): a prospective comparison study. The Lancet Oncology. 14(7), 583-589. [Abstract]
  • de Bock, G., Vermeulen, K., Jansen, L., Oosterwijk, J., Siesling, S., Dorrius, M., Feenstra, T., Houssami, N., Greuter, M. (2013), Which screening strategy should be offered to women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations? A simulation of comparative cost-effectiveness. British Journal of Cancer. 108(8), 1579-1586. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Abraham, L., Kerlikowske, K., Buist, D., Irwig, L., Lee, J., Miglioretti, D. (2013), Risk Factors for Second Screen-Detected or Interval Breast Cancers in Women with a Personal History of Breast Cancer Participating in Mammography Screening. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 22(5), 946-961. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Skaane, P. (2013), Overview of the evidence on digital breast tomosynthesis in breast cancer detection. Breast. 22(2), 101-108. [Abstract]
  • Marinovich, M., Houssami, N., Macaskill, P., Sardanelli, F., Irwig, L., Mamounas, E., von Minckwitz, G., Brennan, M., Ciatto, S. (2013), Meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging in detecting residual breast cancer after neoadjuvant therapy. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 105(5), 321-333. [Abstract]
  • Tagliafico, A., Tagliafico, G., Astengo, D., Airaldi, S., Calabrese, M., Houssami, N. (2013), Comparative estimation of percentage breast tissue density for digital mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis, and magnetic resonance imaging. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 138(1), 311-317. [Abstract]
  • Hersch, J., Jansen, J., Barratt, A., Irwig, L., Houssami, N., Howard, K., Dhillon, H., McCaffery, K. (2013), Women's views on overdiagnosis in breast cancer screening: a qualitative study. BMJ. 346, f158. [Abstract]


  • Bernardi, D., Ciatto, S., Pellegrini, M., Anesi, V., Burlon, S., Cauli, E., Depaoli, M., Larentis, L., Malesani, V., Targa, L., Baldo, P., Houssami, N. (2012), Application of breast tomosynthesis in screening: incremental effect on mammography acquisition and reading time. British Journal of Radiology. 85(1020), e1174-e1178. [Abstract]
  • Brennan, M., Houssami, N. (2012), Newly diagnosed early breast cancer - an update on pre-operative assessment and staging. Australian Family Physician. 41(11), 871-874. [Abstract]
  • Autier, P., Esserman, L., Flowers, C., Houssami, N. (2012), Breast cancer screening: the questions answered. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. 9(10), 599-605. [Abstract]
  • Marinovich, M., Sardanelli, F., Ciatto, S., Mamounas, E., Brennan, M., Macaskill, P., Irwig, L., von Minckwitz, G., Houssami, N. (2012), Early prediction of pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer: Systematic review of the accuracy of MRI. Breast. 21(5), 669-677. [Abstract]
  • Brancato, B., Crocetti, E., Bianchi, S., Catarzi, S., Risso, G., Bulgaresi, P., Piscioli, F., Scialpi, M., Ciatto, S., Houssami, N. (2012), Accuracy of needle biopsy of breast lesions visible on ultrasound: audit of fine needle versus core needle biopsy in 3233 consecutive samplings with ascertained outcomes. The Breast. 21(4), 449-454. [Abstract]
  • Ciatto, S., Bernardi, D., Calabrese, M., Durando, M., Gentilini, M., Mariscotti, G., Monetti, F., Moriconi, E., Pesce, B., Roselli, A., Stevanin, C., Tapparelli, M., Houssami, N. (2012), A first evaluation of breast radiological density assessment by QUANTRA software as compared to visual classification. Breast. 21(4), 503-506. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Macaskill, P., von Minckwitz, G., Marinovich, M., Mamounas, E. (2012), Meta-analysis of the association of breast cancer subtype and pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. European Journal of Cancer. 48(18), 3342-3354. [Abstract]
  • Lord, S., Marinovich, M., Patterson, J., Wilcken, N., Kiely, B., Gebski, V., Crossing, S., Roder, D., Gattellari, M., Houssami, N. (2012), Incidence of metastatic breast cancer in an Australian population-based cohort of women with non-metastatic breast cancer at diagnosis. Medical Journal of Australia. 196(11), 688-692. [Abstract]
  • Cardoso, F., Costa, A., Norton, L., Cameron, D., Cufer, T., Fallowfield, L., Francis, P., Gligorov, J., Kyriakides, S., Lin, N., Pagani, O., Senkus, E., Thomssen, C., Aapro, M., Bergh, J., Di Leo, A., El Saghir, N., Ganz, P., Gelmon, K., Goldhirsch, A., Harbeck, N., Houssami, N., Hudis, C., Kaufman, B., Leadbeater, M., Mayer, M., Rodger, A., Rugo, H., Sacchini, V., Sledge, G., Van't Veer, L., Viale, G., Krop, I., Winer, E. (2012), 1st International consensus guidelines for advanced breast cancer (ABC 1). Breast. 21(3), 242-252. [Abstract]
  • Cody, H., Houssami, N. (2012), Axillary management in breast cancer: What's new for 2012?. Breast. 21(3), 411-415. [Abstract]
  • Bernardi, D., Ciatto, S., Pellegrini, M., Valentini, M., Houssami, N. (2012), EUSOMA criteria for performing pre-operative MRI staging in candidates for breast conserving surgery: hype or helpful?. Breast. 21(3), 406-408. [Abstract]
  • Bernardi, D., Ciatto, S., Pellegrini, M., Tuttobene, P., Fanto', C., Valentini, M., Michele, S., Peterlongo, P., Houssami, N. (2012), Prospective study of breast tomosynthesis as a triage to assessment in screening. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 133(1), 267-271. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Costelloe, C. (2012), Imaging bone metastases in breast cancer: evidence on comparative test accuracy. Annals of Oncology. 23(4), 834-843. [Abstract]
  • Brennan, M., Houssami, N. (2012), Evaluation of the evidence on staging imaging for detection of asymptomatic distant metastases in newly diagnosed breast cancer. Breast. 21(2), 112-123. [Abstract]
  • Staub, L., Lord, S., Simes, R., Dyer, S., Houssami, N., Chen, R., Irwig, L. (2012), Using patient management as a surrogate for patient health outcomes in diagnostic test evaluation. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 12, 12. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S., Turner, S., Cody 3rd, H. (2012), Preoperative staging of the axilla in women with invasive breast cancer. Breast Cancer Management. 1(1), 65-72.
  • Dixon, J., Houssami, N. (2012), Bigger margins are not better in breast conserving surgery. BMJ. 345, e5855. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Kerlikowske, K. (2012), The impact of breast density on breast cancer risk and breast screening. Current Breast Cancer Reports. 4(2), 161-168.


  • Houssami, N. (2011), Is Alice still in the Wonderland of breast cancer screening?. Maturitas. 70, 313-4. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Tresham, J., Fritschi, L., Wylie, L. (2011), BreastScreen-based mammography screening in women with a personal history of breast cancer, Western Australian study. Medical Journal of Australia. 195(8), 460-464. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Macaskill, P., Balleine, R., Bilous, M., Pegram, M. (2011), HER2 discordance between primary breast cancer and its paired metastasis: tumor biology or test artefact? Insights through meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 129(3), 659-674. [Abstract]
  • Glasziou, P., Houssami, N. (2011), The evidence base for breast cancer screening. Preventive Medicine. 53(3), 100-102. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S. (2011), The evolving role of new imaging methods in breast screening. Preventive medicine. 53(3), 123-6. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S., Turner, R., Cody, H., Macaskill, P. (2011), Preoperative Ultrasound-Guided Needle Biopsy of Axillary Nodes in Invasive Breast Cancer: Meta-Analysis of Its Accuracy and Utility in Staging the Axilla. Annals of surgery. 254(2), 243-51. [Abstract]
  • Brennan, M., Turner, R., Ciatto, S., Marinovich, M., French, J., Macaskill, P., Houssami, N. (2011), Ductal Carcinoma in Situ at Core-Needle Biopsy: Meta-Analysis of Underestimation and Predictors of Invasive Breast Cancer. Radiology. 260(1), 119-28. [Abstract]
  • Brennan, M., Houssami, N. (2011), Overview of long term care of breast cancer survivors. Maturitas. 69(2), 106-12. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Miglioretti, D. (2011), Early detection of breast cancer the second time around: mammography in women with a personal history of breast cancer. The Medical Journal of Australia. 194(9), 439-440. [Abstract]
  • Corsetti, V., Houssami, N., Ghirardi, M., Ferrari, A., Speziani, M., Bellarosa, S., Remida, G., Gasparotti, C., Galligioni, E., Ciatto, S. (2011), Evidence of the effect of adjunct ultrasound screening in women with mammography-negative dense breasts: interval breast cancers at 1 year follow-up. European Journal of Cancer. 47(7), 1021-1026. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ambrogetti, D., Marinovich, M., Bianchi, S., Macaskill, P., Vezzosi, V., Mamounas, E., Ciatto, S. (2011), Accuracy of a Preoperative Model for Predicting Invasive Breast Cancer in Women with Ductal Carcinoma-in-situ on Vacuum-Assisted Core Needle Biopsy. Annals of surgical oncology. 18(5), 1364-71. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Abraham, L., Miglioretti, D., Sickles, E., Kerlikowske, K., Buist, D., Geller, B., Muss, H., Irwig, L. (2011), Accuracy and outcomes of screening mammography in women with a personal history of early-stage breast cancer. JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association. 305(8), 790-799. [Abstract]
  • Turco, P., Houssami, N., Bulgaresi, P., Troni, G., Galanti, L., Cariaggi, M., Cifarelli, P., Crocetti, E., Ciatto, S. (2011), Is conventional urinary cytology still reliable for diagnosis of primary bladder carcinoma? Accuracy based on data linkage of a consecutive clinical series and cancer registry. Acta Cytologica. 55(2), 193-196. [Abstract]


  • Houssami, N., Solin, L. (2010), An appraisal of pre-operative MRI in breast cancer: More effective staging of the breast or much ado about nothing?. Maturitas. 67, 291-3. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S. (2010), Mammographic surveillance in women with a personal history of breast cancer: How accurate? How effective?. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 19(6), 439-45. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Macaskill, P., Marinovich, M., Dixon, J., Irwig, L., Brennan, M., Solin, L. (2010), Meta-analysis of the impact of surgical margins on local recurrence in women with early-stage invasive breast cancer treated with breast-conserving therapy. European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990). 46(18), 3219-32. [Abstract]
  • Mathieu, E., Barratt, A., McGeechan, K., Davey, H., Howard, K., Houssami, N. (2010), Helping women make choices about mammography screening: An online randomized trial of a decision aid for 40-year-old women. Patient Education and Counseling. 81(1), 63-72. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S. (2010), Design-related bias in estimates of accuracy when comparing imaging tests: examples from breast imaging research. European radiology. 20(9), 2061-6. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Morrow, M. (2010), Pre-operative breast MRI in women with recently diagnosed breast cancer--where to next?. Breast. 19, 1-2. [Abstract]


  • Brennan, M., Houssami, N., Lord, S., Macaskill, P., Irwig, L., Dixon, J., Warren, R., Ciatto, S. (2009), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Screening of the Contralateral Breast in Women With Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Incremental Cancer Detection and Impact on Surgical Management. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 27(33), 5640-9. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S., Martinelli, F., Bonardi, R., Duffy, S. (2009), Early detection of second breast cancers improves prognosis in breast cancer survivors. Annals of Oncology. 20(9), 1505-1510. [Abstract]
  • Warren, R., Ciatto, S., Macaskill, P., Black, R., Houssami, N. (2009), Technical aspects of breast MRI--do they affect outcomes?. European Radiology. 19(7), 1629-1638. [Abstract]
  • Brennan, M., Spillane, A., Houssami, N. (2009), The role of breast MRI in clinical practice. Australian Family Physician. 38(7), 513-519. [Abstract]
  • Lawrence, G., Wallis, M., Allgood, P., Nagtegaal, I., Warwick, J., Cafferty, F., Houssami, N., Kearins, O., Tappenden, N., O'Sullivan, E., Duffy, S. (2009), Population estimates of survival in women with screen-detected and symptomatic breast cancer taking account of lead time and length bias. Breast cancer research and treatment. 116(0), 179-85. [Abstract]
  • Elena, P., Nehmat, H., Ermes, M., Piera, C., Maria, Q., Guia, M., Francesco, C., Roberto, V., Giovanni, F., Isabella, G., Stefano, C. (2009), Quality of mammography screening in the Milan programme: evidence of improved sensitivity based on interval cancer proportional incidence and radiological review. Breast. 18(3), 208-210. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Lord, S., Ciatto, S. (2009), Breast cancer screening: emerging role of new imaging techniques as adjuncts to mammography. The Medical Journal of Australia. 190(9), 493-497. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Given-Wilson, R., Ciatto, S. (2009), Early detection of breast cancer: overview of the evidence on computer-aided detection in mammography screening. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. 53(2), 171-176. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Hayes, D. (2009), Review of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in breast cancer: should MRI be performed on all women with newly diagnosed, early stage breast cancer?. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 59(5), 290-302. [Abstract]


  • Bilous, M., Houssami, N. (2008), Management of lesions of uncertain malignant potential on breast core needle histology: Vacuum-assisted excision as an alternative to surgical excision. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 17, 543-4. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S. (2008), Ultrasound and mammography for breast cancer screening. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. , 1514-5; author reply 1515. [Abstract]
  • Brancato, B., Houssami, N., Francesca, D., Bianchi, S., Risso, G., Catarzi, S., Taschini, R., Rosselli Del Turco, M., Ciatto, S. (2008), Does computer-aided detection (CAD) contribute to the performance of digital mammography in a self-referred population?. Breast cancer research and treatment. 111, 373-6. [Abstract]
  • Ciatto, S., Houssami, N., Martinelli, F., Bonardi, R., Cafferty, F., Duffy, S. (2008), Second breast cancers in a Tuscan case series: characteristics, prognosis, and predictors of survival. British journal of cancer. 99(3), 539-44. [Abstract]
  • Bird, P., Hill, A., Houssami, N. (2008), Poor hormone receptor expression in East African breast cancer: evidence of a biologically different disease?. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 15(7), 1983-1988. [Abstract]
  • Duffy, S., Nagtegaal, I., Wallis, M., Cafferty, F., Houssami, N., Warwick, J., Allgood, P., Kearins, O., Tappenden, N., O'Sullivan, E., Lawrence, G. (2008), Correcting for lead time and length bias in estimating the effect of screen detection on cancer survival. American journal of epidemiology. 168(1), 98-104. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Ciatto, S., Macaskill, P., Lord, S., Warren, R., Dixon, J., Irwig, L. (2008), Accuracy and Surgical Impact of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Breast Cancer Staging: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Detection of Multifocal and Multicentric Cancer. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 26(19), 3248-58. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Anderson, B. (2008), Would the real breast cancer please stand up? A global perspective of breast cancer. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 17, 217-9. [Abstract]
  • Sardanelli, F., Houssami, N. (2008), Evaluation of lesions of uncertain malignant potential (B3) at core needle biopsy using magnetic resonance imaging: a new approach warrants prospective studies. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 17, 117-9. [Abstract]
  • Davey, H., Barratt, A., Butow, P., Houssami, N. (2008), The impact of different criteria for selecting information to be provided to women undergoing diagnostic breast tests. Patient education and counseling. 71(1), 86-94. [Abstract]
  • Roder, D., Houssami, N., Farshid, G., Gill, G., Luke, C., Downey, P., Beckmann, K., Iosifidis, P., Grieve, L., Williamson, L. (2008), Population screening and intensity of screening are associated with reduced breast cancer mortality: evidence of efficacy of mammography screening in Australia. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 108(3), 409-416. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N. (2008), Report on the sixth scientific meeting of the Australasian Society for Breast Disease (ASBD). Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 17(0), 205. [Abstract]
  • Corsetti, V., Houssami, N., Ferrari, A., Ghirardi, M., Bellarosa, S., Angelini, O., Bani, C., Sardo, P., Remida, G., Galligioni, E., Ciatto, S. (2008), Breast screening with ultrasound in women with mammography-negative dense breasts: evidence on incremental cancer detection and false positives, and associated cost. European journal of cancer. 44(4), 539-44. [Abstract]
  • Houssami, N., Wylie, L. (2008), Lost in narration: do we need to improve the quality of breast imaging reporting in Australia?. Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology. 52, 2-3. [Abstract]
  • Ciatto, S., Houssami, N., Martinelli, F., Giusti, F., Zappa, M. (2008), PSA use and incidence of prostate biopsy in the Tuscany region: is opportunistic screening discounting biopsy in subjects with PSA elevation?. Tumori. 94(4), 518-22. [Abstract]