Breast Study to Determine the Ability of Non-Invasive Optical Transillumination Spectroscopy to Predict Breast Density.


The purpose of this study is to learn more about the application of transillumination measurements in the determination of breast cancer risk. The goal is to demonstrate a correlation between non-invasive optical transillumination spectroscopy and parenchymal density pattern.

Full Title of Study: “Optical Transillumination Spectroscopy of Breast Tissue in Pre- and Post-Menopausal Women.”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

Detailed Description

X-ray generated images, such as mammograms, rely on the density of tissue within the breast. Tissue density are believed to be associated with proliferation of stroma and/or epithelium, which result in an increase in water associated light absorption and a decrease in lipid associated light absorption. The amount of density of the breast tissue has been shown to be an indicator of cancer risk. Thus, assessing this breast tissue density is also an important tool in determining breast cancer risk. Optical transillumination has been shown to give information about tissue composition and tissue density. Unlike x-ray mammography which uses ionizing radiation, optical transillumination uses normal white light and is deemed safe to be used frequently for women of all ages and therefore can be used for those situations where mammography is not an option. Normal white light is shone into the tissue and the light that leaves the breast on the other side from the source is detected and analyzed. Since the same physiological conditions that contribute to dense breast tissue, as seen in mammography, also will have unique optical signatures. We will compare the amount of this dense tissue from the mammogram, taken with 12 months, to the density measurements found through the optical procedure. The goal is to be able to duplicate the information from the mammogram using the transillumination technique. All measurements are non-invasive and no blood samples or biopsies are required.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Be in good health and able to provide consent – Be between 35 and 75 years of age – Have no personal history of breast cancer – Have had a mammogram at The Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital within the last 12 months Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have had breast biopsy – Have had breast augmentation or reduction

Gender Eligibility: Female

Minimum Age: 35 Years

Maximum Age: 75 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University Health Network, Toronto
  • Collaborator
    • United States Department of Defense
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Lothar Lilge, PhD, Principal Investigator, Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2M9; Department of Biophysics and Bioimaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2M9

Citations Reporting on Results

Blyschak K, Simick M, Jong R, Lilge L. Classification of breast tissue density by optical transillumination spectroscopy: optical and physiological effects governing predictive value. Med Phys. 2004 Jun;31(6):1398-414.

Simick MK, Jong R, Wilson B, Lilge L. Non-ionizing near-infrared radiation transillumination spectroscopy for breast tissue density and assessment of breast cancer risk. J Biomed Opt. 2004 Jul-Aug;9(4):794-803.

Simick MK, Lilge L. Optical transillumination spectroscopy to quantify parenchymal tissue density: an indicator for breast cancer risk. Br J Radiol. 2005 Nov;78(935):1009-17.

Blackmore KM, Knight JA, Jong R, Lilge L. Assessing breast tissue density by transillumination breast spectroscopy (TIBS): an intermediate indicator of cancer risk. Br J Radiol. 2007 Jul;80(955):545-56. Epub 2007 May 30.

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