Gamma Medica’s LumaGEM Molecular Breast Imaging system to be installed at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

Gamma Medica, a leader in molecular breast imaging (MBI) technology, today announced that Henry Ford Health System has purchased Gamma Medica’s LumaGEM Molecular Breast Imaging system. The system is set to be installed by the end of 2016 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. The MBI technology will be offered as a secondary screening and diagnostic tool following X-ray mammography, particularly for women with dense breast tissue. This proven imaging modality will help improve cancer detection in women who are at greater risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, with 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths in the U.S. alone. Almost 50 percent of women in the U.S. are diagnosed with dense breast tissue. Unfortunately, not only do many not realize they have dense breasts, but they may not understand what it means for their risk of breast cancer. For a woman with dense breasts, there may be cases where a woman received a negative mammogram, but she is later diagnosed with breast cancer. Dense breast tissue and cancer both appear white on mammograms, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish between the two. This can lead to false negatives or delayed diagnoses.

Tailored to dense breast tissue, MBI is a groundbreaking method that significantly improves early diagnosis of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. The compression required for MBI is also lighter and far more comfortable than a mammogram.

“Henry Ford Health System’s commitment to install our LumaGEM MBI system validates progress in giving all women, regardless of their breast density, access to accurate breast cancer screenings,” said Philip Croxford, Gamma Medica president and CEO. “Our partnership with Henry Ford will open the door for more women who are diagnosed with dense breast tissue to use MBI as a standard secondary screening protocol following digital X-ray mammography and tomosynthesis. We are pleased to be working with such an influential and respected health care system and helping give women access to the best screening methods available to ensure early detection.”

“Our goal is to give patients the latest, safest and best quality care by continuing to evolve the ways we help our patients and providers be certain in their test results,” said Patricia Miller, M.D., Breast Imaging Center Director at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. “As research and real-world evidence underscore the unique value of MBI to a patient population that critically needs it, we found it important to offer this secondary screening tool. Given the proven significant increase in cancer detection rates through the use of the LumaGEM MBI system, we are confident this installation will help us diagnose breast cancer early, specifically for our patients with dense breast tissue.”

Recent studies have confirmed that MBI highlights metabolic activity in breast tumors not visible on mammograms due to tissue density, leading to earlier diagnosis. Clinical research also shows use of LumaGEM reduces biopsies, often painful and costly, by 50 percent. A breakthrough retrospective study, involving over 1,700 women with dense breast tissue over a three year period, was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology’s August issue confirmed LumaGEM’s high incremental cancer detection rate of 7.7 cancers per thousand (7.7/1000), this compares with published data for  primary mammography screening alone of 3/1000.  The study also concluded that – when MBI was used as a secondary screening modality – the total number of cancers found was approximately 12/1000. Approximately 85 percent of these cancers were also confirmed as invasive and node negative, indicating they were detected at an early stage and therefore presented a better prognosis.

To educate women this year about the importance of MBI and breast density, Gamma Medica launched the Be Certain campaign, which aims to give physicians and women access to the most accurate clinical information on breast density and breast cancer detection. In addition to education, Gamma Medica is committed to increasing the number of accurate early breast cancer screenings through installations at major facilities like Henry Ford. Every woman deserves to Be Certain about her breast health and access to the latest diagnostic tools to help reduce late diagnosis and improve patient clinical outcomes.

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