Naviscan has introduced Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) scanner, which is about the size of an ultrasound system, in Europe.

PEM scanners are high-resolution breast PET systems (also referred to as 3-D Molecular Breast Imagers or Tomographic MBI) that can show the location as well as the metabolic phase of a lesion.

In a prospective study, 20 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients underwent mammography, breast and axillary ultrasound, breast MRI and PEM, among whom suspicious lymph nodes were evaluated and final ALN status was determined via pathology.

The preliminary data showed promising results for PEM in accurate lymph node assessment.

PEM demonstrates 88% sensitivity with a negative predictive value of 91% in assessment of ALN status in patients with breast cancer and the data show improved lesion detectability and decrease in background activity.

The University of Chicago Medical Center associate professor of Radiology Daniel Appelbaum said their study provides additional compelling evidence that PEM can play an important role in axillary staging, perhaps with more sensitivity than ultrasound or MRI.

"Furthermore, these findings, in conjunction with PEM’s more extensively documented role in evaluating the breasts themselves as well as whole body PET’s excellent whole body staging, paves the way for a complete breast cancer work-up — primary tumor, regional and distant metastases–with one FDG dose," Appelbaum said.