Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) occurs in about 30% of breast tumors. However, many questioned whether DCIS is currently being overtreated. To permit better diagnosis and prediction of the progression of DCIS, improved imaging methods to determine the grade, extent and margins of the tumor are crucial. A computer-assisted three-dimensional microscopy system to model DCIS lesions, using fully sectioned tissue samples, is being developed by Carlos Ortiz de Solórzano (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA). An improvement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide better contrast, texture and edge delineation than conventional MRI is being developed by GS Karczmar (University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA) and by Savannah Partridge (University of California, San Fran-cisco, California, USA).
Other novel imaging methods being developed include near-infrared spectroscopy (Hanli Liu, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA), laser optoacoustic tomography (Alexander Oraevsky and Sergey Solomatin, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA), and breast cancer radars and microwave imaging to contrast high water content in tumors and low water content in normal tissues (Jack Bridges, Mt Prospect, Illinois, USA). In contrast, gene expression profiling using cDNA arrays (discussed by Dennis Sgroi, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and proteomics (discussed by Patricia Steeg, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) are other potential tools for determining tumor grade and progression. David Botstein (Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA) highlighted the use of microarray technology in the characterization of breast cancers. Results from the array data can potentially be used to determine types of therapy.