News and Updates

  • October 2016 - BREAST will run reading workshops over 3 ½ days at the Breast Interest Group Meeting in Queenstown, NZ 5-8 April. Places are limited so please book your reading session now: BREAST thanks Dr Melanie Reese and colleagues at BreastScreen Counties Manukau for their contribution to the development of the “Queenstown” test set – the brand new module that will be launched at the BIG Meeting.
  • October 2016 – The brand new Leura test set was launched at the 2016 RANZCR ASM on 13th October with a 4- day workshop. The workshop was attended by 78 delegates. A/Prof Mark McEntee presented the paper “Do Radiologists Who Participate in BREAST Improve Their Performance?” on Saturday 15th October.
  • September 2016 – BREAST was launched at the Vietnam National Cancer Hospital, Hanoi on 25th September with a 5-day workshop. Forty Vietnamese clinicians participated for the first time in BREAST, completing a 60-case test set with immediate educational feedback. Prof Bui Dieu, Director of the Vietnam National Cancer Hospital, and Prof Patrick Brennan has signed an agreement around continuing collaboration between institutions and ongoing engagement with the BREAST platform. The workshop was made possible through funding from the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and the NBCF.
  • September 2016 - BREAST hosts inaugural High School Outreach Program. On Friday 9 September, BREAST hosted a delegation of 6 high school students from St. Matthew’s Catholic School in Mudgee with their teacher and Head of Science, Dr Louise Puseldnik, as part of a research collaboration with Prof Patrick Brennan, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the BREAST team. A research agreement was signed by St. Matthew’s and the Faculty earlier this year enabling talented and interested Years 10, 11, and 12 students to participate in a research project with BREAST. During their visit to the Camperdown Campus, students were given a demonstration of the Mobile Image Lab where they tried their hand at detecting lesions on breast and chest x-rays and locating wrist fractures using the BREAST platform. These activities gave the students firsthand experience of how BREAST collects data which will be useful to them as they analyse and write a research paper for their own BREAST project entitled: Variations in Vietnamese radiologists' mammographic interpretation performance and comparisons with international benchmarks. BREAST will be collecting data from Vietnamese radiologists at the upcoming SSEAC-funded BREAST workshops to be held at the National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. Following the workshops, the St. Matthew’s students will conduct analysis and co-author a research paper to submit for publication.
    This is BREAST’s inaugural High School Outreach Program and is working towards further partnerships with NSW high schools to engage students in science and research.
  • July 2016 - Congratulations Ms. Norhashimah Mohd Norsuddin for being awarded the “Best Poster” award and Ms. Zoey Ang for winning a scholarship prize for outstanding early career researchers to travel and present at the 13th International Workshop in Breast Imaging in Malmo, Sweden in June. Shima is a MRS PhD candidate and her poster titled “Lower Recall Rates Reduced Readers’ Sensitivity in Screening Mammography”. Shima is supervised by A/Professor Sarah Lewis, Dr Warren Reed and A/Professor Claudia Mello-Thoms. Zoey is a Diagnostic Radiography Honours student and she presented results from her Honours thesis, titled “Breast asymmetry, distortion and density are key factors for false positive decisions”. Zoey was supervised by A/Professor Sarah Lewis and Dr Mohammad Rawashdeh.
  • July 2016 - The New Zealand Ministry of Health has renewed its funding contract with BREAST for a further 3 years. The BREAST test sets and performance reports will be available to BreastScreen Aotearoa readers and trainees until 2019.
  • July 2016 - BREAST will run reading workshops over 3 ½ days at the RANZCR 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting at the Gold Coast from 13 to 16 October. Places are limited so please book your reading session now: BREAST thanks Dr Natasa Borecky for her contribution to the development of the “Leura” test set – the brand new module that will be launched at the ASM.
  • June 2016 - BREAST will run an information session and reading workshops over 10 days in Hanoi, at the National Cancer Hospital Vietnam. The event will be facilitated by Ms Phuong Dung Trieu, and the BREAST team. Vietnamese radiologists will participate in the BREAST radiology training modules for the first time and the BREAST team will have the opportunity to collect research data from participants. This is the first workshop to be held following the establishment of an MoU between the USyd and Vietnam National Cancer Hospital. This is made possible by funding from the Sydney South East Asian Centre (SSEAC) Workshop Grant, which supports international workshops that lead to publications on a topic related to Southeast Asia.
  • May 2016 - The University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cancer Institute NSW regarding research collaboration with the BreastScreen Reader Assessment Strategy (BREAST). This milestone agreement signifies free and easy access to BreastScreen NSW data for the BREAST project. The collaboration ensures that BREAST may continue to develop educational mammography test sets for radiology training, and carry out research in breast cancer detection using clinical information. The MoU is valid until December 2019.
  • April 2016 - The BREAST has been featured in the NBCF research news. Please visit this link to see more about "NBCF-funded mammography reading test increases accuracy".
  • March 2016 - Prof. Patrick Brennan was featured in the Business Insider Australia website in November 2015.
  • February 2016 – Happy New Year! 2016 is off to a great start with the Gold Coast test set available now in BreastScreen NSW. If you would like more test sets to be available at your BreastScreen service, please contact the BREAST .
    This month, the following breast cancer researchers from MIOPeG will be presenting at the 2016 SPIE Conference in San Diego from 27 February to 3 March 2016:
    1/ Mr. Moayyad E. Suleiman, PhD candidate - "DICOM organ dose does not accurately represent calculated dose in mammography"
    2/ Dr. Maram Mustafa Alakhras - "Radiation dose differences between digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis are dependent on breast thickness"
    3/ Mr. Ernest U. Ekpo, PhD candidate - "Quantra reproduces BI-RADS assessment on a two-point scale"
    4/ Ms. Zoey Z. Y. Ang, Postgraduate student - "The classification of normal screening mammograms"
    5/ Mr. John W. Robinson, PhD candidate - "The impact of radiology expertise upon the localization of subtle pulmonary lesions"
    6/ Mrs. Christine N. Damases, PhD candidate - "Inter-observer variability within BI-RADS and RANZCR mammographic density assessment schemes"
    7/ Dr. BaoLin Pauline Soh - "Varying performance in mammographic interpretation across two countries: Do results indicate reader or population variances?"
    8/ Ms. Phuong Dung (Yun) Trieu, PhD candidate - "The effectiveness of the cranio-caudal mammogram projection among radiologists"
    9/ Dr. Mohammad A. Rawashdeh - "Investigating the link between the radiological experience and the allocation of an equivocal finding"
    10/ Mrs. Ziba Gandomkar, PhD candidate - "Predicting radiologists' true and false positive decisions in reading mammograms by using gaze parameters and image-based features"
  • November 2015 - The BREAST workshop was a success at the 2015 RANZCR Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide (29 Oct-1 Nov). We collected 98 readings (25 readings were completed by BreastScreen radiologists; 70 were by other radiologists and registrars; and 3 by non-medic participants). It’s the most readers we’ve had so far at a College scientific meeting. It is our hope that BREAST is helping to raise the quality of mammography reading in the general radiology environment as well as in BreastScreen. Plans for next year’s BREAST workshops are already underway.
  • October 2015 - The BREAST will run 4-day workshops at the RANZCR 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting (29 October to 1 November) at Adelaide. We will be launching the “Gold Coast” and "Specific Cancers" test sets, plus readers will have the opportunity to re-examine the Sydney test set to assess their own progress. The BREAST workshops are now fully booked. Thank you for your interest and support in the BREAST project. If you missed out on a place at the workshop, please visit us in Meeting Room 7 at the Adelaide Convention Centre to participate in other experiments being run by the collaborators of BREAST.
  • October 2015 - The BREAST team released 6 test sets (Hobart, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne, Special and Gold Coast). 876 tests were undertaken by radiologists (735) and trainees (141) from all over the world. Among them, there were 522 by BreastScreen Australia and New Zealand radiologists and 340 BreastScreen radiologists and registrars in Australia and New Zealand have read at least one set. In total, 52,560 cases have been reviewed in BREAST.
  • July 2015 - The BREAST workshop was run successfully at 10th General Breast Imaging Meeting in Gold Coast. 78 radiologists and breast physicians participated in our workshop contributing to 88 readings of 3 test sets (Gold Coast, Special and Sydney). Prof Patrick Brennan presented a paper entitled “BreastScreen Readers Test Set/Current research Interest” at the conference. Many thanks to RANZCR and Sheraton hotel conference management teams for supporting the BREAST workshop.
  • July 2015 - Congratulations to Dr Mohammad Rawashdeh, University lecturer and BREAST researcher, for winning the best oral presentation award at the 10th General Breast Imaging Meeting at the Gold Coast on 5 July, for his talk entitled, “Critical Factors Affecting Radiologists’ Diagnostic Accuracy in Screening Mammography”. The General Breast Imaging Meeting is a biennial conference hosted by the Breast Interest Group of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Radiologists.
  • May 2015 - The BREAST will run 4-day workshops at the 10th General Breast Imaging Meeting (July 2-5) at the Gold Coast. This year, we will be launching the “Gold Coast” and "Specific Cancers" test sets, plus readers will have the opportunity to re-examine the Sydney test set to assess their own progress. Prof Patrick Brennan will be presenting BREAST research to the meeting on Sunday 5 July.
  • May 2015 - Dr Mohammad Rawashdeh will present a paper entitled “BREAST 2011-2014: Scientific achievements and future directions”, and Ms Maram Alakhras will present a poster entitled “An overview of BREAST - a multi-parametric scheme designed to increase radiologist performance in breast cancer detection”, at the Medical Image Perception Conference, from June 2-5, 2015, at Ghent, Belgium
  • March 2015 - Congratulations Dr Mohammad Rawashdeh for being awarded the 2015 Best Poster Presentation at the Cum Laude Level, at the SPIE Medical Imaging conference in Florida, USA, for his paper entitled: "Experience in reading digital images may decrease observer accuracy in mammography" . Congratulations to the other authors: Sarah J. Lewis; Warwick Lee; Claudia R. Mello-Thoms, Warren M. Reed, Mark F. McEntee. Kriscia Tapia, Patrick C. Brennan.
  • February 2015 - Congratulations to Professors Warwick Lee, Patrick Brennan and their team from the University of Sydney and University of California, Santa Barbara, for securing a National Breast Cancer Foundation Innovator Grant for their project entitled, Transforming diagnostic efficacy in Breast Screening using an optimised double reading strategy. This study aims to bring together scientists from Australia and the US, to establish the maximum efficacy obtainable when radiologists are optimally paired; and define individual reading patterns linked to specific error types so optimal pairings are established prospectively. Total funding: $197,200.
  • January 2015 – Happy New Year! 2015 is off to a great start with the Melbourne test set available now in NSW. If you would like more test sets to be available at your BreastScreen service, please contact the BREAST .
  • December 2014 – The BREAST office will be shut over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, from 19 December to 2 January 2015. The office will reopen on Monday, 5 January.
  • November 2014 – Recent graduate and BREAST researcher, Ms Bao Lin Pauline Soh, PhD, from the Faculty of Health Sciences was awarded a SingHealth Publish! Award for Medical Research in November 2014. The SingHealth Publish! Award aims to give accolade to SingHealth researchers based in Singapore who have published quality articles in internationally acclaimed scientific or medical journals.
  • September 2014 – The Melbourne test set launch at the 2014 Combined Scientific Meeting was a success with the brand new test set completed by 72 screen-readers. We also had a number of participants joining the other University of Sydney experiments offered at the BREAST workshop. Many thanks to Sectra for supplying the equipment and for providing on-call technical support during the conference.
  • July 2014 – The BREAST workshops at the Melbourne meeting are now fully booked. Thank you for your interest and support in the BREAST project! If you missed out on a place at the workshop, please visit us in Meeting Room 208 at the Melbourne Convention Centre (4-7 September) to participate in other experiments being run by the collaborators of BREAST.
  • June 2014 – A/Prof Claudia Mello-Thoms presented a paper entitled “Understanding the Role of Correct Lesion Assessment in Radiologists’ Reporting of Breast Cancer”, and Ms Phuong Dung (Yun) Trieu presented a poster entitled “BREAST: A novel strategy to improve the detection of breast cancer”, at the 12th International Workshop on Breast Imaging, from June 29 - July 2, 2014, at Gifu City, Japan.
  • May 2014 –This year in September, BREAST will run 4-day workshops at the RANZCR 2014 Combined Scientific Meeting. We will be launching our latest module, the “Melbourne” test set. Register for the conference and workshop today!
  • April 2014 - The Sydney test set is now available across BreastScreen Aotearoa (New Zealand) with radiologists and registrars recommended to complete the test set by 30 June 2014. The Darwin test set will follow shortly after.
  • March 2014 - Late last year BREAST surveyed Australian clinicians who have had experience with at least one BREAST test set since the start of the programme. The aim was to gauge reader satisfaction and collect their opinions for the continuous improvement of BREAST. Thanks to the 64 doctors who responded and gave us great insight! Please click on the Survey Report on the right for the results.
  • February 2014 - Two BREAST papers have been accepted for presentation at the IWDM2014 - 12th International Workshop on Breast Imaging, at Gifu City, Japan. The papers' lead authors are 1) A/Prof Claudia Mello-Thoms and 2) Ms Phuong Dung Trieu. We will publish details of their papers when it is made available online. The conference dates are June 29 - July 2, 2014. For more information, please visit
  • January 2014 - IN NSW ONLY - The Sydney test set will not be accessible for 12 months from 30 January 2014. It will become available again from 30 January 2015. Reason: The BREAST research team will look at two things: 1) reader performance in a test set over time after a gap period of 12 months and 2) the efficacy of the BREAST program in improving performance. The Sydney test set will be used for this study.
    When the Sydney test set is made available again in 2015 and if you’ve completed the Sydney test set, we may ask for your consent to participate in a research study where you’ll be asked to read the Sydney test set for a second time. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact the . Only NSW readers are involved at this stage.
  • December 2013 - OFFICE CLOSED: The BREAST office will be closed from 18 December during the University Christmas shut-down period. We will reopen on the 2 January. For urgent matters during this period, please contact the by email.
  • November 2013 - Fantastic news: PhD Candidate, Ms Pauline Soh, will be presenting her paper “Does sensitivity measured from screening test-sets predict clinical performance?” at SPIE Medical Imaging 2014 which will be held 16-20 February 2014 in San Diego, California USA. Visit the SPIE Medical Imaging conference website:
  • October 2013 - The BREAST mini workshops were a success with 25 participants. Many thanks to the Hologic team for their support, and to RANZCR, Outshine and SKYCITY Convention Centre conference management teams for another successful meeting.
  • September 2013 - BREAST will run mini workshops (2 workstations) at the 64th RANZCR Annual Scientific Meeting in Auckland from 17-19 October. The Sydney test set will be offered.
  • August 2013 - Are you a research group interested in working with BREAST and the data we've collected on test set performance of mammography screen readers and radiologists? BREAST is accepting applications for access to the database for research. Please contact the .
    July 2013 – The Darwin workshop results have been released. If you participated at the Darwin workshop but have not received your performance report or completion certificate, please email the .
  • June 2013 – The third BREAST module, the Darwin test set, was launched at workshops during the 9th BIG of RANZCR meeting in Darwin. 80 delegates from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore participated in the 4-day workshops. We thank the following companies for their continued support: The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Sectra, HOLOGIC, Ziltron, RANZCR, Kathy Nightingale and her team at TNI and the Darwin Convention Centre.
  • April 2013 – The New Zealand Ministry Of Health to adopt the Breast Screen Reader Assessment Strategy (Breast). The BREAST team received news that the New Zealand Ministry of Health has approved the implementation of the Breast Screen Reader Assessment Strategy as their national training, assessment and research tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. Read more about this here
  • April 2013 On the 23rd of April, Prof Patrick Brennan presented a talk at the 2013 Breast Conference in Sydney which covered the BREAST initiative. It was well-attended and well-received. The meeting was a great opportunity to once again showcase the capabilities and achievements of BREAST, as well us open avenues for discussion with international researchers.
  • March 2013 The Hobart images have been installed in BreastScreen Queensland, thus completing the national roll-out initiated in 2011. Every Australian state and territory now has access to BREAST. Registration of radiologists in Queensland will follow shortly.
  • February 2013 Professor Patrick Brennan presented BREAST: A novel method to improve the diagnostic efficacy of mammography (Brennan PC, Tapia K, Ryan J, Lee W) at the 2013 SPIE Medical Imaging conference in Florida, USA
  • January 2013 This year in June, BREAST will run 4-day workshops at the 9th General Breast Imaging Meeting (BIG RANZCR), in Darwin. Workshop slots are filling up fast so please book early by clicking on this link to the BREAST Workshop website.
  • December 2012 BreastScreen Tasmania, South Australia and ACT are preparing to launch the Sydney test set at their workstations in the new year. If you are a reader in these programs and have not registered for access to BREAST yet, please contact the .
  • November 2012 The Sydney test set is now available at NSW Services! As with the Hobart test set, the Sydney is a collection of 60 cases from the NSW Digital Image Library. You can use your BREAST login to access the set at designated workstations in NSW. Have a chat with the designated radiologist or BREAST Buddy for your Service to find out how.
  • October 2012 BREAST is now available in BreastScreen Victoria at workstations in each of the 8 Services across the state.
  • September 2012 The BREAST team released Quarter 2 performance reports to relevant Programs/Services. 127 radiologists from NSW, ACT, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and QLD have completed the "Hobart" test set to date.
  • September 2012 The 3-day BREAST workshops at the AOCR/RANZCR 2012 meeting in Sydney was a success! 57 radiologists from all over the world participated in the study that launched the "Sydney" test set, and key findings were presented by Prof Patrick Brennan at the meeting. We are grateful to Ziltron, Sectra, and Hologic for their support during the workshops. The Sydney set will be rolled out to all Australian states and territories in the coming months. Watch this space.
  • August 2012 The Sydney test set will be launched at the end of this month at workshops at the AOCR / RANZCR 2012 conference at Darling Harbour. The BREAST sessions are currently at capacity, however there may be an opportunity onsite to attend if a registered attendee drops out last minute. Please forward your contact details (particularly your mobile number) to the AOCR 2012 Congress Managers; if you would like to be included on the waiting list.
  • July 2012 BREAST successfully acquired the National Breast Cancer Foundation Infrastructure Grant 2012. The funding received will enable BREAST to continue implementing and further develop the strategy in Australia and beyond.
  • June 2012 BREAST has been granted Qualified Privilege by the Australian Government under Part VC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 . This provides important safeguards for all radiologists participating in the BREAST test sets and the data generated from these activities. On top of BREAST’s strict reader confidentiality policy, Qualified Privilege offers additional measure of confidentiality for BREAST participants.
  • May 2012 The next test set named the "Sydney" set will be launched at AOCR 2012 where the BREAST team will be holding free workshops on the 31st August, 1st September and 2nd September. Information on how to register for the workshops will follow shortly.
  • April 2012 The BREAST team released the first of the quarterly performance reports to relevant Programs/Services with 71 total readers from NSW, ACT, SA and TAS who have completed the "Hobart" test set to date.
  • March 2012 BREAST is now available in BreastScreen South Australia at 3 workstations in Wayville.
  • January 2012 BREAST is now available in BreastScreen Tasmania at 3 workstations in Hobart and 1 in Launceston.
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