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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Mar 20;28(9):1450-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.23.0839. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Prospective multicenter cohort study to refine management recommendations for women at elevated familial risk of breast cancer: the EVA trial.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany.



We investigated the respective contribution (in terms of cancer yield and stage at diagnosis) of clinical breast examination (CBE), mammography, ultrasound, and quality-assured breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), used alone or in different combination, for screening women at elevated risk for breast cancer.


Prospective multicenter observational cohort study. Six hundred eighty-seven asymptomatic women at elevated familial risk (> or = 20% lifetime) underwent 1,679 annual screening rounds consisting of CBE, mammography, ultrasound, and MRI, read independently and in different combinations. In a subgroup of 371 women, additional half-yearly ultrasound and CBE was performed more than 869 screening rounds. Mean and median follow-up was 29.18 and 29.09 months.


Twenty-seven women were diagnosed with breast cancer: 11 ductal carcinoma in situ (41%) and 16 invasive cancers (59%). Three (11%) of 27 were node positive. All cancers were detected during annual screening; no interval cancer occurred; no cancer was identified during half-yearly ultrasound. The cancer yield of ultrasound (6.0 of 1,000) and mammography (5.4 of 1,000) was equivalent; it increased nonsignificantly (7.7 of 1,000) if both methods were combined. Cancer yield achieved by MRI alone (14.9 of 1,000) was significantly higher; it was not significantly improved by adding mammography (MRI plus mammography: 16.0 of 1,000) and did not change by adding ultrasound (MRI plus ultrasound: 14.9 of 1,000). Positive predictive value was 39% for mammography, 36% for ultrasound, and 48% for MRI.


In women at elevated familial risk, quality-assured MRI screening shifts the distribution of screen-detected breast cancers toward the preinvasive stage. In women undergoing quality-assured MRI annually, neither mammography, nor annual or half-yearly ultrasound or CBE will add to the cancer yield achieved by MRI alone.

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