Kromek wins US$4m contract to develop advanced breast cancer diagnosis system
21 Jan 2011
Newcastle-based Kromek has secured a four-year contract with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASS), to develop an advanced system for breast cancer detection and diagnosis.
The contract, which has been funded via US$4m from the US National Institutes for Health, represents one of very few scientific programmes, globally, with the potential to dramatically improve the way in which breast cancer is detected and subsequently treated.
Although x-ray mammography has saved many lives and is considered the imaging mode of choice for early detection of breast cancer, one of its limitations is that the recorded image represents a three-dimensional (3D) object in a two-dimensional (2D) plane, meaning varied tissue structures, e.g. normal breast tissue versus tumour tissue, can be difficult to distinguish.
Kromek and NOVA, a California-based company Kromek acquired last year, possess a unique technological answer to the challenge of achieving better resolutions of breast tissue, without increasing doses of radiation for patients.
Chief Executive Arnab Basu said: “We are extremely excited by this contract's potential to significantly advance clinical diagnostics, in the field of breast cancer detection, and potentially way beyond. The programme is at an early stage, but to be working with UMASS on behalf of the NIH is proof of the unique technological advantages Kromek and NOVA offer, and the contribution we can make to improved detection systems in the medical field.”
Dr. Stephen Glick, Professor of Radiology at UMASS, commented: “UMASS is one of the world’s few research groups investigating the use of X-ray CT imagers for use in breast cancer detection and diagnosis. It was therefore essential that we selected an innovative and cutting-edge partner to join the programme.
“The modality we are using, which combines photon counting and cone-beam CT imaging, holds unique promise for the medical imaging market. We are looking forward to working together with Kromek and NOVA towards a solution that could change the way breast cancer detection is carried out for many years to come.”
KromekThe contract lends further weight to our presence in the medical imaging market, following the announcement earlier this month about our work with Siemens on CT imaging development in Germany and the US. The market for medical imaging is expected to reach $6.6bn by 2014.