Spectral Mammography Said To Hold Promise For Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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imageSpectral mammography offers promising diagnostic benefits for breast cancer, according to the first clinical results of a research project conducted by Sectra. Published in the February issue of Radiology,the results will be presented tomorrow at a symposium dedicated to breast cancer detection and ways of improving cancer detection with photon-counting technology. The symposium is part of the program of the 2011 European Congress of Radiology in Vienna.

An initial review of 10 patients with known disease showed promising results and highlights the need for further investigation of low-dose photon-counting tomosynthesis in combination with a contrast agent. Single-shot spectral imaging, as investigated in Sectra’s research, is enabled using Sectra's photon-counting MicroDose Mammography system. Photon-counting technology enables the detection of photons with different energies and color in a single x-ray exposure instead of the multiple exposures needed by other technologies. The resultant spectral information is being promoted as opening up a new approach to breast imaging, whereby the tissue type of the breast can be determined by the measured photon energies. This can potentially lead to higher cancer detection accuracy, according to Sectra.

Sectra MicroDose Mammography is already in use in most European countries, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The main benefit of the system is its ability to deliver high-quality images quality with only half the radiation of other digital systems on the market, Sectra claims.

In addition to the initial clinical results of the Sectra study, the European Congress of Radiology will feature symposia on the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer in mammographic screening, as well as an overview and results from the first prospective clinical comparison of breast tomosynthesis to one- and two-view 2D mammography. A symposium entitled “10 Years of Breast Screening in Ireland- Clinical Review and Impact of Digital Imaging will be presented as well.