Computational Breast Imaging Group - Research

The CBIG is actively working on developing a rigorous research program with a goal to investigate role of imaging as a quantitative biomarker for improving personalized clinical decision making for breast cancer screening, prognosis, and treatment. We are working on a multimodality approach, using emerging breast imaging technologies such as digital mammography (DM), digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), and diffusion-weighted (DW) MR imaging.


Screening: Identifying women at high-risk of breast cancer is critical for implementing personalized breast cancer screening protocols and forming preventive strategies. We are working on developing computational methods to characterize breast tissue composition, including breast density and parenchymal texture, from emerging digital breast images modalities and estimating the predictive value of these imaging features to assess a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Our goal is to incorporate novel imaging biomarkers of cancer risk and clinical breast cancer risk information to improve breast cancer risk assessment for women.

digital mammography

Breast density estimation from digital mammography using adaptive fuzzy C-means clustering dense tissue segmentation.

Prognosis: We are working on developing methods to characterize the imaging characteristics of cancer tumors from multimodality breast imaging data. Our goal is to investigate the value of these imaging features as prognostic biomarkers and incorporate this information in clinical decision making. We are working on elucidating associations between histopathology, cancer receptors, gene expression profiles, and the corresponding imaging phenotype for breast. These imaging biomarkers could complement the current methods for assessing breast cancer prognosis and guide clinical decisions for identifying women who would benefit from specific tailored treatment options.

dynamic contrast-enhanced mri

Breast tumor segmentation from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and kinetic curve characterization.

Treatment: We are developing approaches to integrate structural and functional information from multimodality breast images that could be used to assess and guide personalized breast cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, and radiation treatment. In addition, we are looking into the effect of preventative interventions for high-risk women, such as chemoprevention and lifestyle interventions that can effectively reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Imaging biomarkers in this setting can be used to quantify the effect of treatment, assess the effectiveness of drugs in development, and identify targets for new therapeutic agents.

neo-adjuvant chemotherapy responder

Pre-treatment DCE-MRI kinetic maps of a neo-adjuvant chemotherapy responder


Penn ITMAT Translational Bio-Imaging Center (TBIC) "Integrating Imaging with Genomic Biomarkers for Breast Cancer Prognostication"
PI: D. Kontos
02/01/2013- 01/31/2014

NIH/NCI R01 (R01-CA164305-01)
"Statistical Methods for Cancer Absolute Risk Prediction"
PI: J. Chen (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Penn Basser Center for BRCA 1/2
"Imaging Biomarkers for Risk-Reduction Management of BRCA1/2 Carriers"
PI: D. Kontos
07/01/2013- 06/30/2015

Penn Center for Biomedical Image Computing and Analytics "Quantitative Characterization of Spatio-temporal Tumor Heterogeneity via 4D Breast DCE-MRI Registration"
PI: D. Kontos
07/01/2013- 06/30/2014

NIH/NCI R01 (1R01CA183086-01A1)
PI: J. Bernstein/M. Pike (MSKCC)

NIH/NCI (1R01CA161749-01A1)
"Effect of Breast Density on Screening Recall with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis"
PI: D. Kontos
05/04/2012 03/31/2016

American Cancer Society (RSGHP CPHPS-119586)
"Computer-Assisted Risk Estimation (CARe) for Breast Cancer with Digital Mammography"
PI: D. Kontos
07/01/2010 - 06/30/2014

DOD Concept Award (BC086591)
"Mammographic texture as a biomarker for targeted SERM chemoprevention of breast cancer"
PI: D. Kontos
09/01/2009 - 08/31/2011

Penn ITMAT Translational Bio-Imaging Center (TBIC)
"Quantitative breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers of breast cancer prognosis"
PI: D. Kontos
02/01/2010 - 01/31/2012

NSF Collaborative Research III Grant (IIS-0916690)
"Modeling, detection and analysis of branching structures in medical imaging"
PI: V. Megalooikonomou (Temple Univ.)/ P.R. Bakic (Univ. Penn Subcontract)
05/01/2009 - 04/30/2012

DOD BCRP HBCU Partnership Training Award (BC083639)
"Image Based Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk: Analysis of Risk Disparity among Minority Populations"
PI: F. Liu (Delaware State Univ.), A.D.A. Maidment (Univ. Penn Subcontract)
04/01/2009 - 03/31/2013

National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (1U54CA163313-01)
"Penn Center for Innovation in Personalized Breast Screening"
Center PIs: K. Armstrong, M.D. Schnall
Project 2 "Novel Imaging Biomarkers for Guiding Personalized Screening Recommendations"
Leader: D. Kontos
09/21/2011 - 08/31/2016

Breast Cancer Alliance
"Effective Utilization of Breast Tomosynthesis using Imaging Markers to Guide Personalized Screening"
PI: D. Kontos
01/01/2012 - 12/31/2013

NIH/NCI (1R21CA155906-01A1)
"Breast Tomosynthesis Texture-Based Segmentation for Volumetric Density Estimation"
PI: D. Kontos
03/09/2012 - 12/31/2013