Gamma Medica and Alpha Imaging sign distribution agreement for LumaGEM

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | January 07, 2016
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Gamma Medica's LumaGEM
on display at RSNA 2015
Gamma Medica and Alpha Imaging — one of the largest independent sales and service providers for medical imaging equipment — signed a distribution agreement for Gamma Medica’s LumaGEM Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) solution in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic U.S. states. As dense breast notification laws have begun to emerge in government, there has been more of a focus on MBI and other modalities that can better detect it.

“Tissue density is a risk factor in breast cancer disease and there is an issue with the current modalities that are commonly deployed,” Philips M. Croxford, president and CEO of Gamma Medica said. “Most common modalities deployed are using anatomical imaging, so density clouds the image and makes it very difficult to read.”

During the MBI procedure, a radioactive tracer is injected into the patient and the breast cancer cells take up the tracer more than normal cells do, so a nuclear medicine scanner can detect areas where the tracer is concentrated. A 2008 Mayo Clinic study that included 940 high-risk women with dense breasts found that MBI was better than mammography at detecting tumors.

Other studies have found that MBI results in a fourfold increase in the detection of invasive breast cancer as part of a secondary screening protocol, 50 percent reduction in biopsies and a 15 percent lower cost per cancer detected than screening with mammography only.

“It really does validate the importance and the specificity of the [MBI exams] that they conduct on dense breast tissue, and you can’t do that with any other technology,” said Croxford. “Tomosynthesis, ultrasound, MRI just can’t touch the specificity.”

Alpha Imaging has been involved in the imaging industry for 30 years, and has partnered with leading global manufacturers including Hologic, Shimadzu and Konica Minolta. Through the agreement with Gamma Medica, Alpha Imaging will now be able to add MBI to its portfolio of women's health care products.

Alpha Imaging has relationships with over 1,100 health care facilities throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Gamma Medica is also looking to partner with distributors in other highly dense areas like California and Texas.

Croxford believes that MBI will become one of the standards of care for evaluating dense breast tissue in the future. “It won’t be overnight, but I think [women] appreciate that you can get high specificity, reduction in biopsies and an answer from the clinic there and then — I think they are going to ask for it,” he said.

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