iCAD comments on NEJM study that knocks CAD

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In response to the article published in the New England Journal of Medicine that questioned the value of computer-aided detection (CAD) software in mammography screening, iCAD released a statement questioning the author’s use of older CAD technology for their research. The study used versions of CAD software released to the market five to nine years ago. The company also said that numerous peer-reviewed published studies confirm that CAD technology finds more cancers earlier, a point the company believes remains undisputed.

Over the last several years, there have been advancements made to CAD technology and in its sensitivity to find cancer and reduce false positives. More than 25 published studies evaluating CAD technology have demonstrated the benefits of the technology to improve the detection of cancer, iCAD said.

"Having used CAD with mammography on a regular basis for more than a decade, and having witnessed the evolution of this technology, I believe strongly that it is critical to take into account the nature of CAD at the time of this evaluation. Over the past seven years, significant advancements have been made to CAD technology.  It is nearly impossible to compare today's CAD systems with those evaluated in the NEJM report," said Rachel Brem, MD, professor and vice chairman of radiology and director of breast imaging and intervention at the George Washington University Medical Center and member of iCAD's board of directors. "It is paramount that this data also be considered in the context of the many studies conducted on CAD in recent years, which strongly support the value of the technology in detecting early curable breast cancers."

The report "Influence of Computer-Aided Detection on Performance of Screening" was published in the April 5 issue of the NEJM.