LAS VEGAS, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers presented data demonstrating increased specificity of Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) when compared to MRI for the detection of breast cancer at the National Consortium of Breast Centers' 21st Annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference held March 12 – 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The poster presentation, titled Pre-Surgical Detection of Malignancies in the Contralateral Breast Using Positron Emission Mammography: Comparisons with Magnetic Resonance Imaging, reveals the results of a 208 patient, single-site, IRB-approved, prospective study.
Women with newly diagnosed breast cancer have a 3-5% incidence of synchronous contralateral cancer (cancer in the opposite breast). Because of this increased risk, accurate evaluation of the contralateral breast at the time of primary diagnosis is essential to reduce both time and cost to the patient. Traditionally, breast MRI has been used to evaluate the breast for both ipsilateral (originally diagnosed) and contralateral disease; however, Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) is a 3-D molecular breast imaging approach that has been found to be as sensitive as breast MRI in detecting index and additional cancer in the ipsilateral breast with improved specificity.
The study was conducted to determine whether PEM imaging would also be equally, or possibly more, sensitive than breast MRI for the identification of synchronous contralateral breast cancer. Of the 208 analyzable subjects, results showed that 71 women had contralateral breast lesions identified by either MRI or PEM. The study confirmed that PEM and MRI identified the same cancers, both with 83% sensitivity, whereas PEM showed a trend for improved specificity with 80% vs. 63% with MRI. PEM, unlike MRI, was not influenced by menopausal status or breast density.
"These results demonstrate that PEM has the potential to mak