TMIST Site Recruitment Begins for Largest Breast Cancer Screening Trial in Decades


The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research group has begun recruiting breast imaging sites for a large-scale breast cancer screening trial—the Tomosynthesis Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST)—to compare the incidence of advanced breast cancer in women screened with digital mammography versus breast tomosynthesis.

With funding from the National Cancer Institute, the plan is to recruit 100 sites capable of enrolling four to five women, aged 45–74, each day to reach an accrual goal of 165,000 asymptomatic women in three years. The women will be screened for four years.

Researchers led by lead investigator Etta Pisano, MD, lead statistician Constantin Gastonis, PhD, and ECOG-ACRIN group co-chair Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, aim to provide a modern basis for the continued use of mammography for breast cancer screening.

The study also has the potential to provide the evidence some private payors say they need before they will agree to reimburse radiologists for breast tomosynthesis interpretations, providing relief to beneficiaries who must pay higher balances if they elect the more advanced study.

Participation is open to sites in the U.S. and Canada that can provide both imaging methods in the same location and are members of a research group in the NCI National Clinical Trials Network or indirectly through the NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

Interested parties should mark their calendars for informational sessions to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, during the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Registration is required to attend:

  • Mon., Nov. 28, 2016, 1:30–2:30 PM, Central, Room W470a
  • Wed., Nov. 30, 2016, 11AM–12PM, Central, Room192b

Imaging providers can check on their NCTN status at or ask questions about the trial.