ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

A New Frontier

The Society of Breast Imaging’s journal is moving the needle forward on the science of breast screening to improve patient care.
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Research is an extension of patient care. Research is the way that you keep making things better.

October 01, 2019

In the world of academic publishing, there is no shortage of journals. However, surprisingly, none were breastimaging specific — that is until the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and Oxford University Press announced a partnership in March to publish the Journal of Breast Imaging (JBI), the first and only peer-reviewed journal to focus solely on breast imaging. The JBI aims to publish original research from around the world with the ultimate goal of saving lives and minimizing the impact of breast cancer.

The Bulletin recently spoke with the founding editor of JBI, Jennifer A. Harvey, MD, FACR, who has served on the board of directors for the SBI since 2016. Harvey, a professor of radiology at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, discussed what she hopes the new journal will bring to the field — for radiologists, physicians, and patients alike.

What is your vision for the journal in its first year?

For me, much of this journal is about the science. I am a research geek at heart, and research is an extension of patient care. Research is the way that you keep making things better. Previously in breast imaging, we were very limited as to where we could publish. There’s Radiology, the American Journal of Roentgenology, and The Breast Journal, but these journals are either geared towards general radiologists, surgeons, and medical oncologists — not breast imagers. So the number of articles on breast imaging has been limited. We really wanted to be able to expand our platform.

What are some highlights and features of the journal that separate it from other journals of its kind?

We have an article in every issue about screening. The screening topics for the first three issues include the history of screening mammography, the importance of screening women in their forties, and overdiagnosis. Screening has been so controversial since I started over 20 years ago, and we have not had a great voice thus far. By having dedicated articles about screening, we’re hoping to provide really good science about it on a much more public platform. For example, when you have a primary care doctor who says, “Well, I don’t order screenings because of overdiagnosis,” you can hand them a JBI article about the topic. Or when a doctor asks, “So few cancers occur in patients in their forties — why should I have women start screening then?” you can give them an article on screening in the forties that’s solidly backed by science.

JBI has a scientific review every month on other topics to help educate our readers. Original science is a major focus — where we have not had a very large venue in the past. We have clinical practice articles on how to talk to patients who need a biopsy or the ergonomics of breast imaging — topics that are focused directly on patient care. Breast imaging is very patient-facing, but not all breast imagers have necessarily had training in interacting with patients.

The journal also has articles on training and education to prepare the next generation of breast imagers — for example, how do you teach a resident to do a US-guided core biopsy? The goal with this assortment of articles is moving that needle forward on where the science is, and then educating our practitioners with the scientific reviews and the clinical practice articles.

How will the JBI advance the global field of breast imaging for the betterment of patient care?

As breast imagers, our job is to save lives. With the JBI, we hope to do this through science; to keep charting that new frontier by asking “what’s next? How can we do better?” Disseminating that knowledge broadly to breast imagers is one way we can do that. Everybody who’s a member of the SBI gets the journal for free, including international members. So people in all continents get this journal and then can implement this very high-level knowledge within their practices. I think it’s going to really have a profound impact globally.