2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Burnside Team Using Advanced Methods to Improve Breast Cancer Screening Process

Dr. Elizabeth Burnside, Professor of Radiology and Associate Dean of Team Science and Interdisciplinary Research in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is lead investigator of a Breast Cancer Screening Project within the UW Madison Center for Predictive Computational Phenotyping (CPCP). Along with her transdisciplinary team members, David Page, Niko Escanilla, Shara Feld, Ming Yuan, Jun Fan, Jennifer Cox, Eric Mischo, and Terry Little, Dr. Burnside is committed to improving the breast cancer screening process for both patients and physicians.

Advanced research methods are allowing researchers to make important strides in battling breast cancer. Statistics show that approximately one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, and approximately 40,300 women die from breast cancer in the United States each year. However, the recommendations for breast cancer screening differ in terms of the age at which one should begin screening and how frequently one should be screened. New technology has created a new world of possibilities for cancer screening research which can be advantageous to help physicians and patients determine a more accurate screening plan that is tailored to each individual. To better customize an individual screening plan requires that researchers develop tools and methods to select necessary information from large biomedical datasets which contain genetic information, molecular profiles of cells, clinical diagnostic tests, and electronic health records. This, in turn, provides researchers with crucial information that can be used to better understand a woman’s individual susceptibility of developing breast cancer.

Having a large amount of “big data” available at different levels (from cellular information unique to an individual to population-level information) is beneficial in many ways, but it can also make it difficult to discern which factors meaningfully contribute to the risk of breast cancer and which do not. Dr. Burnside’s CPCP team has discovered that combining genetic data, mammogram and other imaging data, along with electronic health record information serves as a substantially better evaluation of a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Better ways to predict breast cancer risk will help patients, physicians and policy-makers improve screening recommendations as well as each individual woman’s screening plan. “Solving important problems in precision medicine, like tailoring screening to individuals based on predictive data,” Dr. Burnside says, “will require transdisciplinary teams with expertise in imaging, informatics, engineering, population health, and other diverse disciplines working collaboratively. This CPCP project has provided exactly that opportunity.”

Dr. Szcykutowicz Receives Honors for Contributions to Articles in Radiology and Medical Physics

Dr. Timothy Szczykutowicz, Assistant Professor (CHS) of Imaging Sciences with the UW Department of Radiology, was recently named as a recipient of the 2018 Radiology Editor's Recognition Award for reviewing with Distinction. He was nominated for this award based on the quality and consistency of the reviews he contributed to Radiology over the past year. Dr. Szcykutowicz has consistently taken the time to review Radiology publications, which is beneficial in order to continue to maintain high quality publications. Dr. Szcykutowicz has also been invited by the three Editors of Medical Physics to serve as a member of the Board of Associate Editors (BAE) of Medical Physics. This level of distinction is awarded to those who have achieved great success as an investigator, and represent leaders within their areas of expertise, they are also believed to have high potential to help find the best scientific articles possible for posting. This requires that one manages around ten newly submitted manuscripts per year, and that they recruit expert referees to review the paper. Once the reviews become available, the Associate Editors make a recommendation to the responsible Editor and write a summary essentially outlining the basis of the recommendations that were made. The revised submissions will then be referred back to them for their recommendations as well as more peer review if they feel it is necessary. Congratulations, Dr. Szczykutowicz!

Dr. Propeck Appointed Chair of the American Board of Radiology Breast OLA Committee

Pamela Propeck, MD, FACR, was recently appointed Chair of the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Breast OLA (Online Longitudinal Assessment) Committee. Dr. Propeck has served the ABR for years beginning as an examiner for breast when the oral exam was held in Louisville, Kentucky, continuing on the breast certifying committee after the oral board exam was discontinued, and finally serving as a senior reviewer on the OLA Committee.

The OLA committee was started several years ago as a way to satisfy Part 3 of the Maintenance of Certification program for diagnostic radiology replacing the 10-year exam. The OLA committee consists of item writers who have been vetted by the ABR, as well as four senior reviewers and the committee chair. The goal is to have this material be representative of “walking around knowledge.” This committee’s job is to determine what is clinically relevant information and test and teach that information to ensure all radiologists have the knowledge needed to provide quality clinical care to their patients. Congratulations on this great honor, Dr. Propeck!

Amy Fowler, MD, PhD, Determines Imaging Technique that Could Improve Outcomes of Some Breast Cancer Patients

Amy Fowler, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Radiology Breast Imaging Section, had a manuscript published in the February 2019 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. The featured basic science article was titled “Sensitivity and Isoform Specificity of 18F-Fluorofuranylnorprogesterone for Measuring Progesterone Receptor Protein Response to Estradiol Challenge in Breast Cancer.” Dr. Fowler’s research focuses on the clinical need to improve ways to detect and predict therapy response in patients with estrogen receptor positive cancer (ER-positive), which accounts for around 70% of breast cancer patients. The current treatment can be ineffective in some cases because it is not always sensitive to anti-estrogen treatment. Dr. Fowler has discovered that non-invasive detection of changes in PR expression using 18F-Fluorofuranylnorprogesterone (18F-FFNP) during an estradiol challenge could be an early indicator of the effectiveness of a specific hormone therapy. Previous studies were completed on ER-positive mouse models of breast cancer, which showed that measuring early decreases in progesterone receptor expression with the use of 18F-FFNP, and PET imaging after starting anti-estrogen therapy, could differentiate between endocrine sensitive and endocrine-resistant breast cancers. Dr. Fowler and her colleagues used human breast cancer cells and tumor xenografts in order to test the ability of 18F-FFNP to detect any increases in progesterone receptor protein expression after estrogen treatment as a measure of functional endocrine sensitivity. The results indicated that 18F-FFNP uptake in tumors increased as early as 48 hours following estrogen treatment and correlates with an increase in progesterone receptor protein expression. They also found that 18F-FFNP could detect both the A and B isoforms of progesterone receptor proteins, which is expressed at variable levels in breast cancer. “Validation of PR imaging as a biomarker of endocrine sensitivity in patients before and after estradiol challenge could provide new opportunities in the field of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine for breast cancer imaging,” Dr. Fowler said. “Improved methods for testing endocrine sensitivity in patients could better inform decisions for optimal individualized ER-positive breast cancer therapy, potentially reducing morbidity and mortality.” Congratulations on your great work, Dr. Fowler!

Dr. Turski Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Patrick Turski

Patrick Turski, MD, FACR, a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the University of Wisconsin SMPH Department of Radiology, in the Neuroradiology Section, was recently named the annual recipient of the Wisconsin Radiological Society (WRS) Flaherty Lifetime Achievement Award. The Flaherty Award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization. Dr. Turski was selected for his demonstrated contributions to the advancement of medical practice and lengthy volunteer service in leadership roles, which reflect with distinction on his practice of radiology in Wisconsin.

Dr. Turski, who retired from the Department of Radiology faculty last year, had a storied career as a neuroradiologist. In medical school at Rush Medical College in Chicago, he initially decided to practice general medicine, but during his internship and residency at UW–Madison, he met Dr. Joe Sackett, the Department of Radiology Chairman, who introduced Dr. Turski to the field and convinced him to pursue it as a career. He subsequently completed his neuroradiology fellowship at the University of California - San Francisco, where he was also awarded a Research Fellow Grant at the Centre International des Etudiants Medecins in Paris, France.

Dr. Turski joined the UWSMPH Department of Radiology faculty in 1981. By 1986, he had been named Chief of MRI, and became the neuroradiology Section Chief in 1993. From 1995 to 2005, Dr. Turski was the John H. Juhl Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology. During his career he wrote 150 peer-reviewed articles, 25 book chapters, one monograph and book on MRA, and has been an invited lecturer at meetings across the globe. Dr. Turski has also been very active in the American College of Radiology, Wisconsin Radiological Society and the American Society of Neuroradiology organizations, serving in numerous leadership roles.

The Flaherty Award was named after the first recipient, Timothy Flaherty, MD, FACR, who is an inspiration to the field of Radiology with many accomplishments including being the past president of both the WRS and Wisconsin State Medical Society, throughout his 50-year career.

Congratulations to Dr. Turski on this momentous honor!

National Nurses Week 2019: Awards and Appreciation for Radiology Nursing Team

The UW Health Nursing Excellence Awards were announced at a special ceremony this week, one of the highlights of Nursing Week 2019. Musculoskeletal Section nurse Erica Timm, BSN, RN, won the top award for Clinical Nursing Excellence. Timm was selected from a large field of nominees for this prestigious award. Department of Radiology nominees Marcia Foltz, Norzin Lhamo and Kelly Wergin were also recognized for the valued contributions to patient care.

Read the full story here. This National Nurses Week, we would like to recognize all Department of Radiology nursing staff for their hard work and commitment to patients!

Marci Alexander Christina Ammerman Peggy Baker Rebecca Basel Joy Bennett Taylor Borgerding Kinesha Brown Kelly Bybee Holly Casson Sheri Chambers Roxane Dachman Justin Enright Virginia Erling Marcia Foltz Therese Gion Molly Goldthorpe Maggie Grey| Samantha Helt Mary Herman Anna Holevatz Ann Jackson Alison Katona LeAnn Klaetsch Samantha Kuznacic Foster Lake Kathy Lancaster Norzin Lhamo David Longseth Jeremy McKiernan Dean Millam Laura Misterek Alicia Nelson Richard Pacetes Abbey Pampuch Karen Plumier Jordan Powell Eileen Prince Janae Prosa Aaron Queck Joseph Schnick Alicia Sims Tabitha Smith Christine Spier Jason Steil Nicholas Sydow Erica Timm Veronica Vaughn-Chun Amber Welsh Kelly Wergin Amy White Vonda Wielsma