Since 2011 several European partners have been working on a quality control protocol for breast tomosynthesis systems, Ruben van Engen from LRCB had the lead in this process and chaired the European physico-technical steering group. This group has drafted preliminary versions of the protocol and organized several feedback sessions at congresses with individual physicists, representatives of the industry and international regulatory organizations. As a result preliminary versions of the protocol have been adapted and texts have been written and rewritten for clarification.
Version 1.0 of this protocol has now been made available via the EUREF website. This will facilitate and harmonize QC measurements on breast tomosynthesis systems. However, in the current version of the protocol an overall image quality measurement is still lacking. At this moment methods to quantify this overall image quality do not exist, therefore image quality measurements using readily available phantoms and measurements in projection images are proposed to cover important aspects of image quality. Methods to quantify overall image quality are still work-in-progress, but due to the large number of breast tomosynthesis systems already installed in Europe it was decided to publish the protocol via the internet as it is; guidance is highly required.
On September 11th, 2015 the European physico-technical steering group will host a one-day workshop on tomosynthesis QC. This workshop will be held in Vienna in cooperation with the Austrian reference centre for technical quality assurance in the breast cancer screening programme (Referenzzentrum für technische Qualitätssicherung im BKF). During this workshop an overview of breast tomosynthesis systems, insights of the why’s of measurements and practical tips for QC measurements will be given. Furthermore the software which is made available by the centres who participated in drafting the protocol will be explained. More information on this workshop can be found on the EUREF website.