Daphne James is a nuclear medicine technologist with over 25 years clinical experience. She completed her PhD in 2015. She is Program Director for Medical Radiation Sciences and a lecturer in nuclear medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research interests include foetal radiation exposure, occupational radiation exposure and radionuclide breast imaging.
Diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures expose the patient to ionizing radiation. Although the amount of radiation used in these procedures in considered relatively low, in the pregnant patient it has the potential to cause biological effects in the foetus. This is especially important in the early weeks of pregnancy when the foetus is most sensitive to radiation and the woman may be unaware she is pregnant. The use of hybrid imaging techniques, incorporating computed tomography (CT) with nuclear medicine imaging, is increasing and these types of imaging procedures have the potential to dramatically increase the exposure to both the patient and any unknown foetus. \r\nAll female patients of child bearing age should be questioned prior to any diagnostic imaging procedure that utilizes ionizing radiation to determine if they are pregnant. A survey of current practice in Australia in 2011 revealed a lack of a consistent approach to questioning the patient about their pregnancy status. A Delphi study was conducted in 2014 to provide consensus statements regarding the most appropriate method for questioning female patients, and approaches for specific groups of patients deemed challenging, such as teenagers. The study also developed a simple flowchart to assist staff when questioning their patients. These statements and the flowchart should, when implemented into clinical practice, maintain a consistent and thorough approach which will subsequently assist in reducing the possibility of inadvertent foetal irradiation. \r\n
Terezia Kiskova has completed her PhD in 2012 at the University of Pavol Jozef Safarik in Kosice, Slovakia. During her postdoctoral study she studied at Medical University of Vienna. During this period, she has actively created scientific lectures for children and adolescents (Night of Researchers, Day of Science and Research). She has published more than 13 papers in reputed journals. This year, she has won the Competition of Young Oncologists in Slovakia.
The aim of our study was to find out whether thermography (TG) could be used as a predictive method for early diagnosis of breast cancer (BC). BC was induced with 2 doses of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (50 mg/kg body weight) to 20 female Sprague Dawley rats. Animals were maintained in temperature-controlled room (22°C) for 15 minutes and then imaged using digital infrared camera (FLIR E40, FLIR Systems OÜ, Estonia). Anesthetized rats (isoflurane, 2ml/L of induction chamber volume) were positioned in front of uniform pad and thermographic images were obtained in 0.5 meter from rats. Images were analyzed by software program (FLIR Tools version 2.0, FLIR Systems, Inc., Wilsonville, USA). Symmetrical body areas were monitored to detect temperature patterns of intact breast in compare to potential affected one. Only tumors developing non-parallel were further evaluated. The predictive role of TG has been monitored and evaluated two weeks before tumor appearance. Rats developed 30 evaluable breast tumors – ductal forms (20), papillary forms (9), and hyperplasia (1). Hyperplasia was accompanied by the raising temperature up to 0.2°C two weeks before the palpation. Interestingly, almost all papillary forms of breast tumors (8/9) were characterized by elevated temperature up to 1.1°C. Nonetheless, 11 ductal carcinomas (55%) were characterized by the increased temperature of 0.6±0.3°C. In 7 cases, temperature sank by 0.5±0.3°C. Two tumors showed no differences in body temperature before manifestation. TG could be used as an effective noninvasive predictive tool in BC diagnosis. However, more studies are required to describe the potential of this predictive method