Several Funded Research Projects are presently active in the Epidemiology Group

1. The Carolina Mammography Registry (CMR). For the past 17 years, CMR has been funded by the National Cancer Institute. This is a collaborative research project created to study the performance of screening mammography in community practice.
This is a collaboration among practices across the state of North Carolina. Practices collect prospective information related to breast imaging and share these data with CMR. In return, CMR assists all practices in meeting their audit reporting requirements of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). Mammography practices, by this law, are required to monitor the results of screening mammography and the performance of the practice over time. CMR links information collected on woman characteristics, mammography findings, results and recommendations with data from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry, and a pathology database for outcomes from screening and diagnostic breast imaging.

This project is a member of the national Breast Cancer Surveillance System (BCSC), Six other sites around the U.S. pool data from state mammography registries for national research. See CMR or BCSC web sites for accomplishments and published papers to date. CMR welcomes proposals from outside researchers to use the Registry data.

2. Technologists Effect on the Accuracy of Mammography (TEAM). Under a grant funded by the NCI, investigators will assess the impact radiologic technologists have on the accuracy and outcomes of mammograms in community practice, the mix of radiologic technologist characteristics in community practice, and the relationship between radiologic technologists’ individual characteristics and the interpretation of the mammograms they perform. This project will expand our understanding of the variability in radiologists’ final interpretations and recommendations.

3. Effectiveness of Pre-operative MRI in Breast Cancer Surgery and Outcomes. This study, also funded by the NCI, is a multi-institutional study, headed by Tracy Onega at Dartmouth. The goal of this study is to compare preoperative breast MRI effectiveness with standard modalities in a large population of women followed over time. This will be accomplished by using linked Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) and Medicare claims data to assess how preoperative breast MRI influences peri-diagnostic utilization and outcomes, surgical management, and survival.

Researchers interested in collaborating are encouraged to contact Dr. Louise Henderson at or 919-843-7799.