Cancer Care and Research Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute will be participating in the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) that will compare 2-D and 3-D mammography to see which is better at early detection of aggressive breast cancers.

TMIST is the first randomized trial to compare two types of digital mammography for breast cancer screening, and is now open for enrollment through Radiology at Marshfield Medical Center (medical offices). The study was developed by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. ECOG-ACRIN is leading the trial.

“Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in our region. This trial will provide important answers about how we should be screening and preventing breast cancer for our patients,” said Dr. Adedayo Onitilo, Cancer Care and Research director.

Cancer Care and Research researchers are enrolling healthy women ages 45 to 74 who are already planning to get routine mammograms. By taking part in TMIST, the 165,000 planned participants will provide critical information that will help researchers learn how to most effectively screen women for breast cancer and help women in the future make informed decisions about the screening tests.

“We are grateful to be involved in the TMIST trial to help answer an extremely important question regarding how often to screen patients for breast cancer and whether 2-D or 3-D mammography should be performed,” said Dr. Kristie Guite, a radiologist who specializes in mammography with Marshfield Clinic Health System.

TMIST is comparing two types of digital mammography approved by the Food and Drug Administration: tomosynthesis (known as three-dimensional, or 3-D) and conventional (two-dimensional, or 2-D). Although 3-D mammography, being the newer technology, is likely to detect more findings that require follow-up, it also is likely to lead to more procedures and treatments. It is not known if this recent improvement in mammography technology is reducing the chances for a woman to develop a life-threatening (advanced) cancer compared with 2-D mammography. The TMIST trial aims to find out.

“It is exciting to work on a clinical trial that has the ability to impact how patient care is delivered for millions of patients,” said Daniel Wall, administrator for Cancer Care and Research Center. “TMIST is a study that will answer one of the biggest questions in cancer screening - is 3-D mammography superior to 2-D mammography for reducing a women’s risk of developing life threatening cancer?”

TMIST researchers are collecting data on the results of every mammogram, whether the imaging shows no signs of cancer, findings suspicious of cancer or a breast cancer. Any medical follow-ups, such as more imaging or biopsies, also are being reported.

TMIST researchers intend to follow all participants for breast cancer status, treatment and outcomes from the time of randomization until the end of the study (at least 2025).

About 100 mammography clinics in the United States are planning to participate in the trial and are opening on a rolling basis over the next several months. Women are being told about the opportunity to enroll in the trial when they schedule a routine mammogram. Once enrolled, they will be assigned to either 2-D or 3-D mammography screening. Most women enrolled in the trial will be screened annually. Postmenopausal women with no high-risk factors will be screened every two years.

“It’s been a great pleasure planning implementation of TMIST with the Radiology and Research teams. I am looking forward to the success and ultimately seeing the results of the measurable outcomes from the study,” said Taiwo Talabi, primary research specialist for the TMIST study with the Cancer Care and Research Center.

For more information or if you know someone interested in participating, contact us at ext. 715-221-6466 or