From the PR Newswire
SAN DIEGO, June 18 /PRNewswire/ — Naviscan’s Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) technology was the focus of several presentations and discussions at the Society of Nuclear Medicine Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. The focus represents a growing interest and validation of how PEM can play an important role in the fight against breast cancer.
PEM scanners are high-resolution breast PET systems that can show the location as well as the metabolic phase of a lesion. This information is critical in determining whether a lesion is malignant and influences the course of treatment. Other imaging systems, such as mammography and ultrasound, show only the location, not the metabolic phase. PEM scanners, which are about the size of an ultrasound system, are manufactured by Naviscan, Inc. and have been commercially available since 2007.
A presentation with considerable attention was of the release of the findings from the NIH-sponsored clinical study comparing PEM with breast MRI. This multi-site study (NIH Grant 5R44CA103102) of hundreds of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer shows that PEM may reduce unnecessary breast biopsies. The study found that PEM was significantly more precise at identifying benign and cancerous lesions, in what scientists call “Positive Predictive Value” or “PPV,” therefore reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies.
Other presentations on PEM were led by leading researchers from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins, Swedish Cancer Institute, University of Washington and Boston University. These presentations covered not only the clinical advantages of PEM today, but also exciting new areas of focus.
The triple negative cancer study results were particularly welcomed news. The study enrolled 281 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer and the results suggested that PEM may be able to properly characterize triple negative tumors. Triple negative breast cancers make up between 13-38% of all breast cancers and are the most difficult to treat because they are so aggressive.