Oct. 27, 2015
Marshfield Clinic Health System, Gamma Medica partner to create world’s first mobile molecular breast imaging unit. Women throughout Wisconsin will now have access to a new standard of care in early breast cancer detection
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) and
Gamma Medica, Inc., today announced their partnership to install the LumaGEM® Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) system on a new mobile medical unit, creating the world's first mobile MBI service.
The mobile MBI unit will provide women across Wisconsin access to new ground-breaking technology that greatly improves detection of early cancers in women with dense breast tissue and complex mammograms. This unit will help address the shortcomings of mammography and other screening modalities.
The mobile MBI unit will travel to Marshfield Clinic sites in Rice Lake, Eau Claire, Minocqua, Wausau and Marshfield to provide patient care.
Recently published studies have shown that the addition of MBI for women with dense breast tissue, results in a nearly 400 percent increase in invasive breast cancer detection rates, 50 percent reduction in biopsies[i] and a subsequent 15 percent lower cost per cancer detected than screening with mammography alone.[ii]
Dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to detect cancer, since both lesions and dense tissue appear white on a mammogram.[iii] MBI is a functional imaging modality that highlights metabolic activity in breast tumors not visible on mammography due to tissue density, thereby leading to earlier diagnosis, improved outcomes and lowered costs.
"We're proud to partner with Marshfield Clinic to create the world's first mobile molecular breast imaging unit," said Philip M. Croxford, president and CEO, Gamma Medica, Inc. "The LumaGEM MBI system is being used at leading hospitals and health systems throughout the country, and our partnership with Marshfield Clinic underscores our commitment to make molecular breast imaging widely available for all women, regardless of where they are located. This partnership now addresses a significant unmet clinical need."
Marshfield Clinic Radiologist Dr. James Kinsella will primarily use MBI with patients who have dense breast tissue where MBI greatly increases cancer detection rates, while decreasing the number of unnecessary biopsies.
"No longer forced to use a 'one size fits all' approach for breast cancer detection, our imaging protocol will now be personalized," Dr. Kinsella said. "The specific needs of each woman will be matched to the imaging technology best suited to her. This will benefit women as well as their health care providers, allowing a well-informed, cutting-edge and shared decision-making environment."
Marshfield Clinic will unveil the mobile MBI unit to the public today, outside Erdman Lobby, Marshfield Center, 1000 N. Oak Ave., Marshfield. The vehicle will be on display from 10 a.m. to noon for tours, with a brief presentation planned for 11 a.m.
The Clinic's mobile fleet includes a mammography and bone density screening unit, a mammography and primary care unit, a mammography screening unit, and the new mobile MBI unit. The mobile fleet providers and staff have treated about 11,000 patients and diagnosed 69 breast cancer cases in the past two years. Funding for the fleet came from the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), Furniture & Appliance Mart and Associated Bank.
"We are proud to be home to the first mobile MBI unit in the world, and we hope to inspire health systems and hospitals to continue to expand their mobile medical programs," said Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney. "Increased access to screening exams results in more effective care, helping patients return to better health and enjoying life."
It is important for women to discuss with their doctors if MBI is an appropriate screening method for them. In addition to women with dense breast tissue or suspicious lesions, MBI may also be valuable for high-risk patients with a family history of breast cancer, patients who have tested positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, symptomatic patients, patients with cosmetic augmentation or patients who cannot receive an MRI.[iv]
About Marshfield Clinic Health System
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) oversees Marshfield Clinic and other subsidiaries, including Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Information Services, Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Marshfield Clinic, with more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, serves patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education; with more than 700 physician specialists in over 80 specialties and subspecialties and more than 6,500 employees. MCHS is overseen by a Board of Directors with 13 independent members and 11 physicians comprising the Marshfield Clinic Board.
About Gamma Medica, Inc.
Gamma Medica, Inc. is a women's health company focused on overcoming the critical shortcomings of mammography and other screening modalities in the early detection of breast cancer. The company's LumaGEM® MBI system is the first commercially available, FDA-cleared, fully solid-state digital imaging system utilizing dual-head Digital Direct Conversion Gamma Imaging™ (DDCGI™) technology for molecular breast imaging. With over 90 percent sensitivity and specificity, LumaGEM MBI has been shown to significantly improve cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue with fewer false positives relative to anatomical imaging technologies, such as MRI and whole breast ultrasound. For more information visit
[i] Rhodes DJ, HruskaCB, ConnersAL, et al. JOURNAL CLUB: Molecular Breast Imaging at Reduced RadiaFon Dose for Supplemental Screening in Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(2):241-251.
[ii] HruskaCB, ConnersAL, Jones KN, et al. DiagnosFc Workup and Costs of a Single Supplemental Molecular Breast Imaging Screen of Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(6):1345-1353. doi:10.2214/AJR.14.13306.
[iii] Mayo Clinic. Tests and Procedures Mammogram. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mammogram/in-depth/dense-breast-tissue/art-20123968?pg=2
[iv] Gamma Medica. Clinical Indications for MBI. Accessed 9/10/2015.