News | January 23, 2013

Researchers at RSNA Determine Molecular Breast Imaging Improves Early Detection in High-Risk Women

January 23, 2013 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Meeting, held annually in Chicago, Ill., is one of the largest and most prestigious medical imaging conferences in the world. Top researchers often choose this venue to announce significant results from their clinical work. One of the most exciting areas of modern medicine discussed at last year's meeting was molecular imaging. Many attendees expressed interest towards a full session dedicated to this new form of imaging entitled, "Breast Imaging in the Era of Molecular Medicine."

Molecular breast imaging (MBI), also commonly referred to as breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI), was a key topic in the dedicated session with more than a third of the lectures examining its role in early breast cancer detection or patient management. MBI can detect breast cancer missed by mammography, according to clinical data presented by Rachel Brem from George Washington University Medical Center. In the work, 364 high-risk patients who had a recent, negative mammogram underwent an MBI examination. In this group, MBI detected breast cancer in nine patients. All cancers were in women with dense breasts.

According to Brem, director of Breast Imaging and vice chair of Radiology at George Washington, "We have long recognized that patients at high-risk for breast malignancy would likely benefit from additional imaging beyond the mammogram. These results indicate that MBI/BSGI could be a very good option for this population; we found breast cancer in 2.5 percent of theses patients who had a recent, negative mammogram. That's pretty impressive and these results are similar to those from the Mayo clinic." She continued, "Although breast MRI is another option, in our practice we find that many patients are unable to have an MRI such as those with pacemakers, claustrophobia, etc., and for others, the cost of an MRI study is simply out of reach. The MBI/BSGI procedure provides us with a low-cost, well tolerated exam that is clearly capable of filling the need for the high-risk group, especially for women who have dense breasts which can make reading the mammogram more difficult."

For more: www.molecularbreastimaging.com

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