MAUI, Hawaii, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Breast MRI continues to gain prominence as a mainstream imaging technique for women with dense breast tissue and at high-risk for breast cancer, prompting more breast centers and hospitals to consider a dedicated breast MRI system. Medical device maker Suros Surgical Systems, Inc. introduced its ATEC Emerald(TM) exclusive breast MRI biopsy system today at the "Mammo in Maui" breast MRI education course. More than 50 of the nation's leading radiologists are attending the week-long CME accredited course that includes 100 MRI case reviews using real-time workstation projection.
More than 10,000 MRI-guided breast biopsies are expected to be performed this year and industry experts say there will likely be a 45-70 percent increase in procedures in 2007. The ATEC Emerald(TM) was developed to answer physician and facility needs for innovative breast MRI technology at an economical price point. The same sought-after features of procedure speed, safety and capability of addressing wide patient populations has been applied to the ATEC Emerald(TM), allowing facilities to optimize precious and costly magnet time by performing MRI-guided breast biopsy in about 30 minutes or less. Many physicians are documenting just 40 minutes for total procedure time when performing multiple lesion biopsies, which account for more than 40 percent of the total breast biopsies performed every year.
The efficiency of an ATEC(R) procedure combined with an exclusive MRI system makes MRI-guided breast biopsy economically positive by performing just two breast MRI biopsies each month, said Jim Pearson, Suros(TM) president and CEO. Most MRI-capable facilities are seeing at least that number of patients each month, and some more depending on the number of scans the facility can perform and the breast MRI patient selection process the facility follows.
"After more than three years of working with physicians doing MRI-guided breast biopsy and learning what our more than 350 MRI-capable customer sites need, we have answered the demand for an economical solution to a dedicated breast MRI biopsy system," said Pearson. "Breast MR procedures are on the rise and becoming more common. As pioneers in the industry in this area, it was our obligation to lead the way in providing the next generation of dedicated breast MRI that is economically and clinically sensible."
Physicians say the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows them to see more in the breast than ever before, potentially saving thousands of lives due to early detection and treatment of breast disease or cancer.
"By utilizing MRI in select patients, we have the ability to detect cancer that is not visible using mammography and ultrasound and potentially make the diagnosis at an earlier stage," said Dr. Christopher Comstock, Director of Breast Imaging at the University of California San Diego and Director of the Mammo in Maui Breast MRI course. "As more and more studies come out illustrating the benefits of MRI, including high-risk screening and pre- operative evaluation for disease found in one or both breasts, physicians not currently using MRI will start to adopt this technique. Products like the ATEC Emerald(TM) are exactly what we need to help manage this growth in breast MRI."
Adoption of breast MRI is also occurring in Europe, and Suros expects its international distribution channels to see immediate uptake in the new product.
"Many European physicians have been asking for an exclusive breast MRI system, so they are a primary audience for the ATEC Emerald(TM)," said Suros COO, Jim Smith. "Through our existing distributors in Europe, they will now be able to bring their patients the same clinical benefits that U.S. patients have benefited from since 2002."
Suros launched the first-ever MRI compatible vacuum assisted biopsy device in May 2003. Since then, more than 15,000 ATEC(R) MRI-guided breast biopsies have been successfully performed. For more information about Suros and the ATEC(R) system product line, visit www.SurosSurgical.com.
Suros Surgical Systems, Inc.