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Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Low Resource Settings

Team Members:
  • Alexandra Berges
  • Thomas Athey
  • Vinay Ayyappan
  • Megan Callanan
  • Alanna Farrell
  • Schuyler Metzger
  • Richard Shi
  • Valerie Zawicki
  • Nicholas Durr, PhD
  • Susan Harvey, MD
  • Sughra Raza, MD
  • Elizabeth Logsdon, PhD
  • George Coles
  • Richard Hughen, MD
  • Su Lucas, MD
  • Anne Rositch, MD


Breast cancer leads to half a million deaths annually and disproportionately affects developing countries due to an uneven distribution of diagnostic equipment. Women must travel far to urban hospitals, resulting in significant diagnostic delays, late stage presentations, and higher fatality rates. Healthcare providers in low resource settings lack the necessary biopsy equipment to extract tumor tissue for pathological analysis due to the high cost of disposable core needle biopsy devices (CNB). Additionally, reusable CNB devices are currently not utilized due to the risk of internal contamination. This leads to the prevalence of invasive and risky surgical biopsy procedures. To overcome these obstacles, our team is building an intuitive, affordable, and reusable core needle biopsy device that will eliminate the risk of contamination.

Our device’s innovative design, featuring a reusable driver and a disposable needle, will be used by mid-level providers to increase access to breast cancer diagnosis in developing countries.

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