Low Dose Molecular Breast Imaging
Kromek Ltd are a leading developer of radiation detectors for the nuclear, medical and security industries. After introductions via the AHSN for the North East and North Cumbria they have diversified and adapted technology from their traditional sectors into breast screening.
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The sensitivity of conventional breast screening technology (mammography) in women with dense breast tissue is as little as 50%. Molecular breast imaging (MBI) which is injection with a radioactive tracer followed by an image of the breast has far better sensitivity. However, at present, the required radiation dose is much higher than in mammography. Kromek proposes to develop imaging technology with a radiation dose equivalent to mammography, with a view to incorporating low dose MBI into the screening pathway for patients with dense breasts. The AHSN NENC brokered a partnership between Kromek and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who led the clinical work and ensured a patient-centred focus.
“This project represents a significant opportunity to both change the screening landscape for women with a higher risk of breast cancer, and to create a product with considerable sales opportunities for Kromek. The link between the company, local clinicians and the support network creates a powerful team to tackle this exciting opportunity.”
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
The AHSN NENC Innovation Exchange helped by linking Kromek in to the Innovation Pathway Partnership of which there have been multiple members assisting such as; The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Medical Physics department, The Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative and Business Development Team.
Impact & Outcomes
The AHSN NENC helped Kromek complete a successful application to support a £1.4 million Innovate UK grant for the study, which includes technology development and installation within a hospital. The Innovate UK grant is an exemplar of how collaborative working between industry and the NHS can benefit both parties.