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Gamma Medica, Alpha Imaging, Major Health Partners collaborate for breast cancer screening platform

Gamma Medica, along with Ohio-based Alpha Imaging and Indiana-based Major Health Partners (MHP), has purchased and installed Gamma Medica’s LumaGEM Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) system, the state’s first LumaGEM and the hospital’s first MBI.

The MBI technology will be offered as a secondary screening and diagnostic tool following mammography, particularly for women with dense breast tissue. This proven imaging modality will enhance early breast cancer detection for women who face a greater risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, causing approximately 40,000 annual deaths in the U.S. alone. More than 40 percent of U.S. women have dense breast tissue, which both increases the risk of developing breast cancer and decreases the visibility of a cancer on conventional mammograms.

Until undergoing their first mammogram, most women are unaware of the condition and may not fully understand its potential significance.

Designed for dense breast tissue, MBI is a groundbreaking technology that significantly improves early detection of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. The technology has proven to be as effective, or more, as a secondary screening method compared to full-field ultrasound or MRI with far fewer false positives.

Clinical research shows use of LumaGEM MBI reduces the need for tissue biopsies by 50 percent compared to other modalities. MBI is also more comfortable and better tolerated by most patients than conventional mammography or MRI.

“MHP Medical Center’s installation of 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 relationship with MHP and Alpha Imaging has opened the door for more women in Indiana and the Midwest to access MBI as a standard secondary screening protocol, following digital mammography or tomosynthesis. We are pleased to be working together to ensure early detection for women across the U.S.”

“Alpha Imaging is pleased to have the LumaGEM MBI system in our portfolio,” said Mike Colaiacovo, VP of Sales at Alpha Imaging. “Coupled with breast tomosynthesis, MBI allows us to provide a more comprehensive solution to our clients. It’s one more advancement in early detection of breast cancer.”

“The Mayo Clinic and others have shown the utility of MBI for both supplemental screening for breast cancer with underlying dense breast tissue and diagnostic problem-solving in breast health care,” said Scott Miller, MD, radiologist at MHP. “We consider MBI to be an integral component of breast cancer diagnosis, and we were impressed by the data documenting a significant increase in cancer detection rates through use of the LumaGEM MBI system.”

A breakthrough retrospective study that was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology’s August issue monitored over 1,700 women with dense breast tissue over a three-year period.

The study confirmed LumaGEM’s additional cancer detection rate of 7.7 cancers per thousand, an increase from 3 cancers per thousand with mammography alone.

The study also concluded that of the additional breast cancers found, approximately 85 percent of these cancers were node negative, indicating they were detected at an early stage and therefore presented a better prognosis.