Dr.Christine Teal, Chief of Breast Surgery, and others of The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., determined that Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging/Molecular Breast Imaging (BSGI/MBI) is accurate in establishing tumor size within 5 mm after receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (pre-chemotherapy) in patients with breast cancer.

The data from the retrospective study demonstrated that BSGI was superior to that of other imaging techniques examined in previous studies, including physical exam, mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and Positron Emission Tomography. The study results were presented recently at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium in Washington, D.C.

BSGI/MBI is a molecular breast imaging technique that is used to identify early stage cancers by means of a high-resolution, small field-of-view gamma camera and a radiotracer. Cells with increased metabolic activity, such as rapidly dividing cancers, preferentially absorb this tracer and are viewed as dark spots on the BSGI image. BSGI is a diagnostic complement to mammography, and is especially helpful for patients that are high risk, have dense breasts, or questionable mammograms.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a treatment regiment for breast cancer in which chemotherapy is delivered prior to surgery. One of the main advantages of this technique is that it allows the physician to use imaging techniques to monitor how effective prescribed chemotherapy is in treating the cancer. This study was performed with the Dilon 6800? Gamma Camera optimized for breast imaging.

The study included 15 consecutive patients that had BSGI before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. BSGI was determined to accurately reflect pathologic tumor size within 5 mm after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. Dr. Teal noted that BSGI was less reliable in detecting residual microscopic disease in these patients, but that BSGI proved to be a valuable tool for determining patient response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

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