In September 2011, Philips acquired Sectra, giving it a foothold in the mammography terrain. Philips is now developing an imaging technology with the ability to obtain both a mammogram and spectral image in a single exposure. That means the patient has a shorter exam time than screening mammography with less radiation exposure, while the radiologist gets detailed information on breast density and lesion characterization—all during the initial screening phase.
This imaging technology—single-shot spectral mammography (SSSM)—is currently in use throughout most European countries, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be submitted for FDA approval later this year. SSSM will be available as either a standalone investment or an add-on to Philips’s existing mammography units.
The latest tool in breast cancer screening: Single-shot spectral mammography
Rachel Klein and Chris Canary
U-Systems’s somo-v automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) system was first approved by the FDA in 2005 for commercial use as a diagnostic tool in detecting breast cancer. An improvement in reproducibility and reliability compared to hand-held ultrasound (HHUS), ABUS touts an easier technologist experience and reproducible images. However, stiff competition from other second-line modalities, such as molecular breast imaging, and uncertain incremental clinical benefit over HHUS has resulted in limited adoption—less than 100 units in the U.S. so far.
Last week, members of the Technology Insights team attended the hearing of the Radiologic Devices Panel (RDP) that recommended approval of expanding ABUS’s indications for use (IFU) to include screening as well as diagnostic care.
FDA panel recommends approval of ABUS for screening dense-breasted women
As the 2011 RSNA begins to wind down, we wanted to take a step back and provide an update on breast imaging. Knowing the strategic importance of breast imaging to many hospitals, administrators and physicians continue to look for new technologies that will allow them to reduce patient anxiety and increase detection.
As screening mammography has been under greater scrutiny of late, attention has shifted to other modalities that could play a greater role in diagnosing breast cancer. Because of its widespread adoption by breast centers, many of these are based on digital mammography. Nearly all presenters note that mammography is highly likely to be unseated as the modality of choice for screening due to digital mammography’s proven ability to reduce breast cancer mortality, affordability, and accessibility. However, more options exist for diagnosis, as current methods miss lesions in some patients.
RSNA 2011, day three: Mammography's challenged role in breast imaging