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New Imaging System Surpasses Mammography In Detecting Breast Cancer

A new imaging system has been developed that surpasses mammography in detecting breast cancer. A professor at the University of Rochester had developed the system and the// University has licensed the technology to Koning Corporation giving it the rights to make, use and sell the scanners. The National Cancer Institute along with some private investors has funded the Development.

While commenting on the new technology, Dr. Joshua Kalowitz, chief of breast imaging at Maimonides Cancer Center in New York City said: 'I'm enthusiastic. This sounds like something that's very helpful, but there have been a large number of technologies that each promise to take over mammography, but each time that proves not to be the case.'

The technology featured in this study, the Cone Beam Breast Computed Tomography (CBBCT) scanner is being tested primarily in healthy women and may not be able to pick up tiny abnormalities because of the resolution, Kalowitz added. The CBBCT scanner is designed to take a number of pictures of the breast from various angles and then merge them into one 3-dimensional image that are better in showing whether a spot on the X-ray is a benign or a tumor. However, the mammography images are 2-Dimensional images and patient needs to be squeezed which causes pains.

The preliminary results of the pilot study of the technique were presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago on Monday. The results proved that CBBCT could also provide pictures of tissue around the ribs and outer breast toward the armpit, where 50 percent of cancers are found and also takes 360-degree views of breast anatomy, with no need to compress the breast between cold glass plates.

This pilot study concentrated on 20 volunteers who were tested with CBBCT scanner after they had normal mammograms, as well as a group of women who had had abnormalities detected during a physical exam, simply to see how well the CBBCT could image the breast and the CBBCT proved itself to be as good as conventional mammogram in imaging the breast - the authors concluded. Unlike conventional mammography, the CBBCT system can clearly display the tissues around the ribs and outer breast near the armpits. The pilot study would continue until 60 participants have been imaged and larger trial is being planned in the next year.

To conclude, Koning Corp. has planned to market the scanner after getting the approval from U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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