Evaluating the Performance of Algorithms in Axillary Microwave Imaging towards Improved Breast Cancer Staging

Matilde Pato, Ricardo Eleutério, Raquel C. Conceição, Daniela M. Godinho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Breast cancer is the most common and the fifth deadliest cancer worldwide. In more advanced stages of cancer, cancer cells metastasize through lymphatic and blood vessels. Currently there is no satisfactory neoadjuvant (i.e., preoperative) diagnosis to assess whether cancer has spread to neighboring Axillary Lymph Nodes (ALN). This paper addresses the use of radar Microwave Imaging (MWI) to detect and determine whether ALNs have been metastasized, presenting an analysis of the performance of different artifact removal and beamformer algorithms in distinct anatomical scenarios. We assess distinct axillary region models and the effect of varying the shape of the skin, muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue layers on single ALN detection. We also study multiple ALN detection and contrast between healthy and metastasized ALNs. We propose a new beamformer algorithm denominated Channel-Ranked Delay-Multiply-And-Sum (CR-DMAS), which allows the successful detection of ALNs in order to achieve better Signal-to-Clutter Ratio, e.g., with the muscle layer up to (Formula presented.) dB, a Signal-to-Mean Ratio of up to (Formula presented.) dB and a Location Error of (Formula presented.) mm. In multiple target detection, CR-DMAS outperformed other well established beamformers used in the context of breast MWI. Overall, this work provides new insights into the performance of algorithms in axillary MWI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1496
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2023


  • axillary lymph nodes
  • beamformer algorithms
  • breast cancer staging
  • microwave imaging


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