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Capital Health First in U.S. With Latest Molecular Breast Imaging Technology

MBI identifies tumors not visible with mammography

Hopewell Township, NJ - The country’s latest molecular breast imaging device that can improve the early detection of breast cancer is now available at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.

“We are very pleased to offer women in our community this new, highly sophisticated test that can help detect breast cancer at its earliest stages, which, as we all know, can be critical to the success of treatment,” said Al Maghazehe, president and CEO of Capital Health.  “We remain committed to bringing patients in this region the latest technological advances to enhance their healthcare options.”

 “This innovative technology addresses some of the challenges we currently face with breast cancer detection, particularly in women with dense breast tissue or those with risk factors for breast cancer,” said Dr. Yaakov Applbaum, medical director of the Radiology Department at Capital Health.

Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell was recently the first hospital in the country to install the GE Discovery NM 750b device. Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is an additional diagnostic tool for women with a family history of breast cancer as well as those who previously had breast cancer, are BRCA positive, have dense breast tissue or have a high risk lesion. A woman undergoing MBI is given an injection of a short-lived radiotracer agent. This material accumulates in tumor cells more than it does in normal cells. Using MBI, specially trained radiologists are able to discover tumors, which show up as hot spots on the resulting image.

MBI has been shown in clinical studies to outperform mammography for early detection in women with dense breast tissue, and in finding more cancers (ref Rhodes, Radiology Nov. 2010). 

The radiotracer agent used for molecular breast imaging is the same used for certain nuclear medicine cardiac tests. Capital Health is offering free same day molecular breast imaging to women who have been injected with the agent for cardiac testing at Capital Health.

The molecular breast imaging technology was developed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic.  Capital Health is the first hospital in the country to obtain the GE Discovery NM 750b device following its approval by the FDA.

“We believe that offering MBI with its ability to detect certain cases of breast cancer earlier will make Capital Health the premier destination in the area for breast cancer screening and diagnosis,” said Applbaum. “Molecular imaging is being added to the already comprehensively equipped Women’s Imaging Center at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, which includes two digital mammography units, two ultrasound machines, and a 3Tesla Magnet for Breast MRI.”

The first patient to undergo MBI at Capital Health was Jane Schweizer of Ewing, NJ.  Both of Schweizer’s sisters and her mother had breast cancer.  Because of her family history and her own tendency to have calcifications in her breasts, Schweizer said she, “always worried that the calcifications would change to cancer or that the radiologists were missing something if my mammograms were good.  Now I can breathe easier for another year knowing that the MBI went further than the mammogram.”  Schweizer added, “It is amazing that our local hospital has this kind of advanced technology that we usually have to travel to New York City or Philadelphia for.”

Also among the first MBI patients was Donna Reel of Bensalem, Pa., whose mother died of breast cancer.  She saw an article about MBI in the Capital Health magazine and called immediately to make an appointment.  Reel said, “My family history is something I always worry about and I always get regular mammograms.  But, after having this new, enhanced test, to hear everything was fine was like having a big weight lifted off my shoulders.” 

About the Capital Health Women’s Imaging Center

Located at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, the Women’s Imaging Center offers the most advanced imaging technology in a soothing atmosphere designed to promote healing. All studies are read by board certified radiologists.  A private suite just for women offers two full field digital mammography systems with Computer Aided Detection as well as two ultrasound units and a bone density unit.  On-site radiologists—Dr. Anne Moch and Dr. Brad Hoppenfeld—provide same-day mammogram screening results in a private consultation room.  The Women’s Imaging Center also includes a 3 Tesla magnet for breast MRI and has biopsy capability stereotactically and under ultrasound and MRI guidance.

More information about Molecular Breast Imaging