About the Isotropic Breast Imaging Platform

Three facts about breast cancer earn universal agreement:

    • Early detection is the key to survival. In the U.S., almost 100 percent of women diagnosed when cancer is still localized within the breast survive five years or longer.
    • Digital mammography, the current standard for breast cancer screening, misses one in five cancers (false-negative results) detection. Stress-inducing false-positive results are also common.
    • The World Health Organization estimates that breast cancer kills about a half million women each year, making the need for a better breast cancer screening tool critical.

Both traditional digital mammography and digital tomosynthesis, which is sometimes marketed as 3-D mammography, are two-dimensional imaging technologies.

In this standard two-view mammogram of a patient with breast implants, the cancer mass is obscured.

The Isotropic Breast Imaging System is very different; it delivers crystal-clear, true 3-D images.

The Isotropic Breast Imaging Platform is also unlike widely available whole-body computed tomography systems that circle a patient’s body to collect images of interest. Instead, breast CT makes use of cone-beam computed tomography technology to scan only the breast of interest.

In breast CT, the woman lays face down on the system table placing the breast to be imaged in a hole in the table. The imaging hardware beneath the table circles around the breast creating a series of raw-data images. The platform computer processes these raw images to reconstruct true three-dimensional, high-resolution images, allowing radiologists to view the breast anatomy from any angle.

Benefits of the Isotropic Breast Imaging Platform include:

  • Produces high-resolution, true three-dimensional images of the breast anatomy.
  • Improves contrast for better detection and identification of breast tumors and other masses.
  • Greatly improves patient comfort by eliminating breast handling and compression.
  • Enhances chest wall coverage, a common issue with mammography and breast tomosynthesis.
  • Detects microcalcifications, an indicator and/or precursor to cancer, as small as 200 microns.
  • Limits radiation dose to levels comparable to two-view mammography.
  • Completes image acquisition in about 10 seconds.
  • Offers a better imaging solution for women with breast implants and painful breast inflammation.

This movie, taken on an earlier version of the Isotropic system and using iodine contrast, shows the details captured when imaging the same patient whose mammogram images are shown on this page. Here, the breast cancer mass and microcalcifications present are  clearly visible.  

Development

Development of the Isotropic Breast Imaging Platform began in the late 1990s and has included four prototype systems used in imaging studies of more than 600 women. Currently, the University of California, Davis is conducting an NIH-funded clinical evaluation on an additional 400 women. At the same time, the company, in collaboration with the UC Davis team, is developing a fifth, commercial-ready system. The next-generation system will be used for regulatory approval, market launch, and commercial sales.