New Trial Compares 3D and 2D Mammography and Could Impact Breast Screenings for Future Generations

June 28, 2018

TMIST is one of many clinical trials available through Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s partnership

(Baton Rouge) –Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center are now enrolling women in the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST), a large, randomized trial comparing two FDA-approved types of digital mammography. Woman’s and the Cancer Center are the only southeast Louisiana sites to offer this trial, which could impact breast cancer screening standards for generations to come.

The trial will compare: Standard digital (2D) versus Tomosynthesis (3D) to determine which method results in a long-term reduction of breast cancer mortality. The trial is being conducted at leading breast cancer screening sites across the United States and Canada and will include 165,000 participants.

Devery Pierce was one of the first patients to register for TMIST when she visited Woman’s Hospital for her annual mammogram. She jumped at the opportunity to participate in the trial after a breast cancer scare years ago, which happened soon after giving birth to her first daughter. Pierce also had family members diagnosed with cancer and a grandmother who succumbed to breast cancer.

“I was fortunate and didn’t have cancer, but I’ve stayed diligent about having annual mammograms over the past 20 years. I’ve passed the importance of breast cancer screenings down to my daughters, and if there’s a way I can give back by participating in this trial, I’m happy to do so,” said Pierce. “I’ve donated blood, plasma and platelets for many years, and participating in TMIST was something else I could do that wouldn’t require any extra time nor money, but would potentially help countless numbers of people.”

Additional key information on TMIST includes:

  • The trial is for healthy women ages 45 to 74 who are already planning to get routine mammograms.
  • Participants will be randomly assigned to get either 2D or 3D screening for the next five years at Woman’s Hospital or Woman’s Mammography Coach.
  • Participants will be asked to voluntarily contribute blood samples and swabs of cells from inside the mouth to build a biorepository. Participation in the collection of these specimens is not a requirement to participate in the screening mammogram portion of the study.
  • Researchers will also analyze tissue collected from women who have biopsies because of mammogram findings during the trial. This aspect of the project will improve our understanding of the biology of breast cancers detected through screening.
  • Most women in the study will be screened annually. Postmenopausal women who do not have certain risk factors for breast cancer will be screened every two years. All participants will be followed until the end of the study in 2025.

“The goal of Woman’s and the Cancer Center’s partnership is to bring advanced, more coordinated breast and gynecologic cancer care to the region, and also to contribute to the larger body of knowledge that will enhance breast cancer mammography standards for all women,” said James F. Ruiz, M.D., radiologist and TMIST principal investigator. “Together, through a ‘master research agreement,’ and by combining both organizations’ expertise, we are delivering many breakthrough clinical trials such as TMIST, as well as other medical and radiation oncology and survivorship research studies.” 

Woman’s has also joined a statewide collaborative through the National Cancer Institute that includes Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, LSU Health Sciences Center – New Orleans and LSU Health Sciences Center – Shreveport, collectively known as the Gulf South Minority Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program (GS-MU-NCORP). GS-MU-NCORP was competitively selected for this collaborative initiative in 2014 to improve cancer treatments in Louisiana through clinical trials, especially for underserved populations.

“Through the Cancer Center’s extensive statewide network and in partnership with Woman’s, more trials will be available to breast and gynecologic cancer patients,” said Dr. Lauren Zatarain, medical oncologist, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. “In conjunction with Woman’s, the Cancer Center is bringing more than 20 national trials for breast and gynecologic cancers that cover the cancer care continuum. More studies will be available in the days and weeks ahead. At this time, we have a breast trial for nearly every woman who walks through our doors and we continue to build our gynecologic portfolio as well.”

For more information on TMIST or other clinical trials, please visit www.SisterhoodStrong.org or call (225) 214-6336. TMIST was co-developed by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (www.ecog-acrin.org/tmist) and the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov/tmist), part of the National Institutes of Health. ECOG-ACRIN is leading the trial.


About Woman’s Hospital
Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is one of the first specialty hospitals for women and infants. Since opening in 1968, it has welcomed more than 300,000 babies, making it one of the largest delivery services in the country and the largest in Louisiana. Additionally, Woman's operates the largest neonatal intensive care unit in the state and cares for infants who are extremely premature, are critically ill or require surgical intervention. The hospital is also recognized for its expertise in mammography as well as breast and gynecologic cancer care. As a private, nonprofit organization, all funds are reinvested into the hospital to continue Woman's mission to improve the health of women and infants through the latest technology, a highly qualified staff and critical community programs and services. For more information, visit www.womans.org.

About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
As a premier destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advance technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. MBP-OLOL provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the first  facility in the Gulf South to offer  the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. The American College of Surgeons has named MBP-OLOL a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for three consecutive survey cycles. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on MBP-OLOL, and how you can become involved, please visit marybirdlake.org.