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First Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography guided biopsy in North America

New method of biopsy for breast cancer patients promises to be faster, more comfortable and lower cost

St. Joseph's Hospital - 

Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) performed the first breast biopsy guided by Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) in North America on June 12, 2020.

CESM is a novel diagnostic imaging tool that is able to detect cancerous lesions at a greater rate than standard mammography, and at close rate to MRI. Patients who undergo CESM receive an intravenous iodinated contrast liquid. This liquid acts as a dye that enhances the visibility of certain tissues during a radiographic imaging procedure, such as mammography or x-ray.

Currently, when a suspicious lesion is detected by CESM and not detected by standard mammography or ultrasound, the patient must return later for an MRI biopsy. Wait times for MRI can be lengthy, and the procedure itself is often long and uncomfortable.

CESM guided biopsy offers the ability to perform biopsy of the lesion of concern using mammography, after iodinated contrast injection. The procedure is faster and more accurate, comfortable and cost effective than an MRI biopsy.

The study will recruit 50 patients who have a suspect finding detected using CESM.

Dr. Anat Kornecki, Lawson Associate Scientist and Radiologist at St. Joseph’s Health Care London explains, “this new approach has the potential to provide rapid and accurate access for patients and reduce costs. With CESM biopsy technology we are also able to perform biopsy of lesions that are located in areas that MRI guided biopsy cannot reach.”

“Our initial experience has been very successful, and we hope to see an impact on patient care as well as breast cancer outcomes,” says Dr. Kornecki.