National Cancer Institute reportedly looking to kill high-profile $100M mammography trial

The National Cancer Institute is reportedly looking to kill a high-profile, $100 million mammography trial, according to a report published Wednesday.

NCI has voted to form a work group that will review funding for the Tomosynthesis Mammography Imaging Screening Trial, the agency’s largest such endeavor. TMIST first started in 2017 and is aiming to compare digital breast tomosynthesis with older 2D mammography technology. But investigators are struggling to enlist sites and patients in the study, with many radiologists already convinced that DBT is superior, Medscape reported.

Officials are aiming to re-evaluate TMIST’s “feasibility and relevance,” given its lagging numbers, sizable price tag and other challenges amid the pandemic, the report noted. COVID-19 reduced the trial’s monthly patient accruals by 50% between March and August compared to previous months.

TMIST’s principal investigator, however, noted enrollment quadrupled and trial sites doubled in the 14 months leading up to the pandemic. And an “unheard of” 19% of the 30,000 women enrolled at the 99 sites are Black.

“With such momentum, we have heard nothing of suspending TMIST and are ready to work with NCI to reach TMIST endpoints more efficiently,” said Etta Pisano, MD, study chair of the trial.

NCI said the 30,000 women enrolled thus far represents less than a quarter of anticipated enrollment of 165,000 by the end of 2020.

Read more about the institute’s plans from Medscape below.