GE Healthcare, a pioneer in digital mammography, highlights an innovative technology to aid in breast cancer diagnosis, at Arab Health 2011, the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition being held until January 27 at the Dubai International Convention Center.
GE Healthcare’s new SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) technology is designed to allow a physician to image blood flow through angiography of the breast using a contrast agent and a dual energy acquisition technique.
Contrast agents can be used to highlight angiogenesis, the growth of small blood vessel resulting in unusually high blood flow, and potentially related to the presence of cancer. In addition to typical mammography images that show breast tissue density, CESM technology is designed to provide doctors with images of contrast uptake, which may indicate angiogenesis.
Working like the multiple-flash, red-eye reduction function in a digital camera, SenoBright uses X-rays at multiple energies to create two separate exposures. These resulting images specifically illuminate and highlight areas where there is contrast uptake and potentially angiogenesis.
"CESM presents two images, one that looks like mammography images and a second with additional functional information. As the images are familiar, it can therefore be easily reviewed by surgeons and oncologists. Moreover in terms of workflow, a CESM exam takes from 5 to 10 minutes," said Dr. Clarisse Dromain, Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute, France.
The diagnostic challenge
Standard mammography images only tissue densities, while SenoBright has been designed to produce an image that also maps contrast uptake, adding the functional information to the conventional standard tissue density information of mammography. Results often are inconclusive, requiring follow-up examinations. If a SenoBright exam is the preferred follow-up, the patient receives an intravenous injection of standard iodine contrast agent, and after two minutes for the contrast agent to circulate through the bloodstream will undergoes a five-minute digital mammography exam. CESM images are acquired in familiar mammography views so that that they can be correlated with standard results, facilitating interpretation by radiologists, and easing communication with other specialists like surgeons or oncologists.
“Worldwide, more than 1.2 million people annually are diagnosed with breast cancer. Since 1965, GE Healthcare has made significant progress in providing solutions for breast cancer detection and diagnosis that really bring a change to people’s lives. Today through ‘healthymagination’, we continuously develop innovations to reduce costs, increase access and improve quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery around the globe,” said Aziz Koleilat, General Manager, GE Healthcare for the Middle East region. “GE Healthcare is pleased to highlight such advanced breast imaging technologies like SenoBright, the result of over 10 years and US$12 million investment of research and clinical collaborations.”
The CESM product development was carried out in collaboration between GE Healthcare and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). The goal of the joint research program is to develop new and innovative technologies for aiding in the diagnosis of breast cancer using the latest developments in digital mammography.
Dr. Tidu Maini, Science and Technology Advisor to Her Highness, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, and Executive Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park, said: “Our collaboration with GE Healthcare is a step towards making Qatar a global medical innovator while delivering real health benefits for the local community.”
Same staff, same equipment— same day
SenoBright is intended to allow for a procedure to be conducted by the same staff, using the same mammography equipment, potentially on the same day as the exam, thereby enabling medical professionals to cut the critical time patients often have to wait from detection to diagnosis.
“Given our proven history of breast imaging innovations, GE is proud to showcase another innovative technology, designed to be compatible with our digital installed base. We are one of the only companies today to engineer and manufacture the entire mammography imaging chain from tube, and detector to review workstation, coupled with integration of the comprehensive local requirements for each customer,“ said David Caumartin, GE Healthcare’s General Manager Mammography. “SenoBright is likely to be a key enabler of accelerated patient workflow from diagnostics to treatment planning. It is enhancing the widely accepted technology of digital mammography by adding the functional information in order to detect angiogenesis.”
Clarity of results
Digital mammography is considered a relevant means of breast cancer screening, delivering proven clinical outcomes. The sensitivity and specificity of images can, however, be affected by a range of factors. Dense breast tissue can overlap with lesions, which are not always visible on an X-ray, and radiologists’ interpretation of images can vary. Inconclusive digital mammography presents a range of challenges to healthcare professionals and patients. Ambiguity can result in diagnostic error.
“The addition of intravenous contrast to mammography gives us the possibility to obtain information that was not previously provided by a conventional mammogram,” said Dr. David Dershaw, Attending Radiologist and Emertus Director, Breast Imaging at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA. “CESM can provide additional functional information which benefits patient workflow, especially where accessibility is an issue.”
CESM technology is intended to work as an upgrade to GE Healthcare’s Senographe DS and Senographe Essential digital mammography equipment and will be compatible with 3,700 systems worldwide. GE’s Senographe platforms are full-field digital mammography systems designed to meet clinical needs, from screening to diagnostic and interventional procedures and are designed for future advanced applications.
GE Healthcare, a Platinum Sponsor of Arab Health 2011, is showcasing its innovative technologies, services and solutions at its pavilion, in Hall No 4, G30.