Molecular Breast Imaging

The overall objective of this work is to develop of an improved method for the diagnosis of breast cancer using molecular imaging methods. Molecular breast imaging (MBI) has shown an ability to detect tumors in cases in which the mammographic findings were inconclusive.  The collaborators on this project include Dilon Technologies, Inc., a leading commercial manufacturer of MBI systems, and the radiation detector group at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator facility.  Below, left is a photograph of the Dilon 6800 MBI system.  Below right is a patient case of a mammogram with inconclusive findings and the corresponding MBI image showing an abnormal mass.

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The novel feature of the proposed gamma camera is a dynamic, variable angle collimator. This unique collimator allows the camera to maintain close proximity to the breast for high spatial resolution and detector sensitivity while acquiring tomographic data. The resulting 3D images can greatly improve tumor contrast over conventional 2D images in which superimposed structures reduce image quality. This approach has several advantages over current and recently proposed MBI methods including simplified detector motion, ease of imaging the critical region near the chest wall, capability for on-board biopsy, and compatibility with x-ray mammography systems for multi-modal imaging.