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Scintimammography: Project Synopsis


Compact scintimammography gamma camera for early detection of breast cancer

The Project to Improve Breast Tumor Diagnostics Using Scintimammography

The Detector and Imaging Group is collaborating with Dilon Technologies Newport News, VA and Johns Hopkins University (Dr. Rachel Brem, PI) on a medical instrumentation project to improve scintimammography which is a nuclear medicine method of breast tumor detection. This nuclear medicine technology uses standard radiopharmaceuticals to locate the tumor. Radiopharmaceuticals are specially prepared chemicals which carry a gamma-ray emitting radioactive isotope and which are markers to certain biological processes. Medical researchers have shown that several types of cancer cells uptake and accumulate these markers more readily than normal cells.

The Detector and Imaging Group built several prototypes of economical portable gamma cameras that show high potential for better tumor detection in breast than the most advanced standard medical imaging instruments currently available. Unlike standard devices this gamma ray imaging detector is capable of capturing enough close views of the tumor to increase accuracy in detection and localization of small lesions.

The latest gamma imager prototype undergoes clinical evaluations at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. The Jefferson Lab has signed a collaborative research agreement (CRADA) with Dilon Technologies Inc. to develop a marketable version of the Detector and Imaging Group's device. Three patents were submitted for the developed technology, and one patent was issued in 1999.