PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolving breast imaging techniques and the ability to more accurately interpret images are leading physicians to consider the possibilities for what might lie ahead in the near future. While there have been some initial studies on emerging techniques like MR spectroscopy and tomosynthesis, presenting faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Breast MRI course held this week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, agree that MRI is now considered "mainstream" for high-risk women.
"MRI is showing us pathology that was known, but we just couldn't image it before," said Elizabeth Morris, MD, associate professor of Radiology and director of Breast MRI at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. "It may not be perfect, but it's better than what we've had before. I definitely think MRI is here to stay."
Medical device maker Suros Surgical Systems, Inc. put its bet on that philosophy early in the breast MRI game and paved the way three years ago for physicians to perform a 30-minute MRI-guided vacuum assisted breast biopsy with the ATEC(R) Breast Biopsy and Excision System. Adoption of the Suros ATEC(R) system was rapid with leading radiologists and teaching institutions in the United States pioneering the movement to screen and biopsy high-risk women using a minimally invasive approach.
Today, Suros(TM) is the worldwide market leader in MRI-guided breast biopsy and this month will mark the first-ever industry accomplishment of having 300 customers in North America using the MRI ATEC(R) system. More than 8,000 MRI-guided breast biopsy procedures have been successfully performed using the MRI ATEC(R) system since May 2003. Suros received European CE Mark approval last November, clearing the way for commercial availability of the ATEC(R) system in the European Union.
Morris noted that existing clinical studies support the important role that breast MRI plays in screening the high-risk population and staging patients with a recent breast cancer diagnosis. She presented her position in "Developing Breast Imaging Technology: Where Does MRI Fit?" on Monday. In at least three recent clinical studies of MRI-guided breast biopsy using the Suros ATEC(R) system, results showed a 96%, 98% and 100% technical success rate of targeting and acquiring suspect tissue with a total average procedure time of 35 minutes, including scans.
"These were some of the first patients who had MRI-guided vacuum assisted breast biopsy," said Connie Lehman, MD, PhD, director of Breast Imaging at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, during a presentation on "MRI-Guided Biopsy/Localization." "Since then, procedure times have been reduced even more. As MRI is increasingly applied to screen high-risk women, safe, minimally invasive and efficient methods of MRI-guided biopsy are essential for MRI to be effective in detecting cancer earlier in this patient population."
Follow up sessions at the conference offered good discussion on screening with mammography and ultrasound and the benefits the MRI offers in detecting missed cancers. Morris said that interventional MRI is the way of the future. "Those technologies that can keep up with change will be the innovators."
About Suros Surgical Systems, Inc.
Suros(TM) is an Indiana-based interventional medical device manufacturer of minimally invasive surgical platform technology for biopsy, tissue removal and biopsy site marking products. The company designs, manufactures and markets patient-focused and physician-inspired "Compassionate Technologies" through its ATEC(R) (Automated Tissue Excision and Collection) product line compatible with stereotactic x-ray, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. Suros is viewed worldwide as the pioneer and market leader in MRI-guided breast biopsy technology, and is the fastest growing choice in vacuum-assisted breast biopsy. Since becoming available in 2002, the Suros ATEC(R) Breast Biopsy and Excision System has been installed in approximately 450 hospitals and breast centers across North America and the European Union and more than 100,000 total procedures have been successfully performed. For more information about Suros, visit http://www.SurosSurgical.com .
Suros Surgical Systems, Inc.