Posted on January 28, 2011

An innovative technology which augments breast cancer diagnosis was unveiled yesterday at Arab Health 2011, the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition, in Dubai.


Developed in collaboration between GE Healthcare and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), SenoBright1 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.
The goal of the joint research programme with QSTP is to develop new and innovative technologies for aiding in the diagnosis of breast cancer using the latest developments in digital
mammography.
“Our collaboration with GE Healthcare is a step towards making Qatar a global medical innovator while delivering real health benefits for the local community,” Qatar Foundation chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s science and technology adviser and QSTP executive chairman Dr Tidu Maini said.
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.
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
examination.
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.
While pointing out that worldwide, more than 1.2mn people annually are diagnosed with breast cancer, GE Healthcare’s Middle East general manager Aziz Koleilat maintained that since 1965, the company has made significant progress in providing solutions for breast cancer detection and diagnosis.

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