NCCPM is a national centre of expertise in the technology and physics of breast imaging, and Professors Young and Dance are leading international experts. Research funding has come from the European Union, Cancer Research UK, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This work has lead directly to the development of standards for the performance of breast imaging both at UK and European level. Current research is of great interest to commercial manufacturers of breast imaging equipment and the centre collaborates with several manufacturers on product developments.
Breast imaging is undergoing dramatic changes at present with the transition to digital imaging opening up new advanced imaging techniques such as 3D imaging and dual energy contrast enhancement. NCCPM was a joint recipient of the HighReX European grant to conduct multi-centre evaluation of these new technologies. NCCPM also participated in a separate (ECCG) project to develop EU Guidelines in breast imaging. The first 5 year programme grant for the OPTIMAM project (Optimisation of breast cancer detection using digital X-ray technology) has recently been completed and renewed as OPTIMAM2 under the leadership of Professor Young. This project is a multi-centre collaboration with the University of Surrey, Jarvis Breast Screening Centre Guildford, Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge, St George’s Hospital London, and the University of Leuven.
In addition to these funded projects NCCPM staff supervise research projects on breast imaging by MSc and PhD students from the Physics Department of University of Surrey.