While at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), taking place in Chicago from June 1-5, GE will provide attendees with an overview of its innovative oncology solutions for healthcare practitioners. These innovations, which range from screening to diagnosis, then to staging, treatment planning and monitoring, may have a transformational impact on breast cancer care delivery.
“With a disease as complex and multi-faceted as cancer, the solutions need to be equally multi-faceted and even more integrated in their scope,” said Pascale Witz, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. “GE’s broad oncology portfolio includes a range of products to help oncologists and pathologists serve their patients' needs. Diagnostic imaging equipment delivers the information clinicians need to make critical decisions. Additionally, breakthroughs in life sciences help support the latest oncology research, and our medical diagnostics products aid in understanding disease from the beginning, while our flexible IT solutions deliver the right information when and where it’s needed.”
Visitors to the GE Healthcare booth (#24083) at ASCO 2012 will also be able to explore an extensive Technology Pavilion where they can get a glimpse into the possible future of cancer care technologies. Additionally, results from three GE Healthcare-sponsored studies will be presented at ASCO 2012:
• Abstract 516 - Mammostrat as an immunohistochemical multigene assay for prediction of early relapse risk in the TEAM pathology study – presented Saturday, June 2, 1:15 – 5:15pm, E450A, Poster #6
• Abstract 4660 - A First-in-Man Phase 1 Imaging Study Using Hyperpolarized [1-13C] Pyruvate in Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer – presented Sunday, June 3, 8:00am – 12:00pm, S Hall A2, Poster Board #12C
• Abstract 6077 - Cost-effectiveness of biomarker-directed bevacizumab for first-line therapy of persons with metastatic colorectal cancer – presented Monday, June 4, 1:15 – 5:15pm, S Hall A2, Poster Board #6B
GE Healthcare experts and executives will be speaking with attendees, demonstrating its commitment to innovative patient-focused solutions. The company is committed to offering these solutions, with many of GE’s leading technologies on display at ASCO. These include:
Screening – the first stage in the cancer journey
GE Healthcare technologies touch patients at the earliest point in their cancer journey – beginning with screening. The Senographe* Essential full-field digital system is designed to give clinicians what they need to perform high-quality mammograms. It is GE’s flagship mammography product that enables clinicians to perform a wide variety of breast procedures—from in-office screening, diagnostics, interventions and mobile screenings. Senographe Essential is designed to give clinicians:
• Value through high-quality images.
• Continuum in a long-term investment and a platform that is upgradeable.
• Smooth and efficient workflow due to comprehensive workflow solutions from worklist integration and multi-modality capabilities.
GE’s SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) technology is intended to work as an upgrade to GE’s Senographe DS* and Senographe Essential digital mammography equipment.
Diagnosis and planning
GE Healthcare has long been known as an industry leader in diagnostic imaging for detection of bladder, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers. One example is GE’s SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) technology. SenoBright is designed to produce contrast-enhanced images of the breast using a legally approved x-ray contrast agent and a dual energy acquisition technique, offering clinicians a new tool to help detect and localize a lesion rapidly and accurately. This technology enables physicians to perform additional tests faster, see the results in a familiar context, and make diagnostic decisions more confidently by providing a contrast-enhanced image in exactly the same position as the standard mammography views. GE estimates that by 2020, more than 1 million women worldwide will be examined using SenoBright, and this will positively impact the diagnosis results for nearly 250,000 women.
Backed by a long-standing tradition of technology migration, the company is showcasing the LOGIQ E9, GE’s premium ultrasound scanner. Powered by Agile Acoustic Architecture, the system offers an array of advanced features and tools that provide physicians additional information to help them detect and characterize breast lesions efficiently. With the use of high frequency matrix array transducer and multi-modality query retrieve technology, users are able to acquire extraordinary breast images with a high level of clarity while also viewing multiple modality images side-by-side with real time ultrasound images. The ability to utilize expert tools like elastography and volume imaging also allow users to provide advanced breast care for patients around the world.
But imaging is just one component of the diagnostic equation. The company also continues to increase its efforts in personalizing cancer treatment through the development of imaging agents that may help physicians improve the detection of malignant cell types and assess the effectiveness of certain therapies. Through its Clarient Molecular Diagnostics business, GE Healthcare provides pathologists and oncologists with access to key diagnostic tests that can shed light on the complex nature of various cancers and combines innovative technologies with world-class pathology expertise to assess and characterize a patient’s cancer. Clarient offers a comprehensive profile of molecular testing for breast cancer with essential markers for ER, PR, HER2 and Clarient Insight® Dx Mammostrat®. This important information, that is independent of proliferation and grade, aids physicians in making appropriate treatment decisions and in determining which patients are most likely to recur from breast cancer.
Breast cancer detection is sometimes difficult, as breast density in varying degrees can overlap with lesions, making them harder to find with traditional x-ray mammography; and interpretation can vary among physicians, which can often lead to recommendations for additional tests.
Molecular Breast Imaging, or MBI, is less susceptible to breast density, since the method involves a radioactive tracer that has a high affinity for metabolically active tumors, and two specialized detectors imaging the breast from opposing angles. In clinical studies, MBI has clearly demonstrated its effectiveness and how it can play an important role in breast imaging.
The GE Discovery NM 750b scanner features dual detectors with CZT technology. The system’s innovative detector design facilitates increased imaging sensitivity compared to conventional Nuclear Medicine “Gamma” cameras. In addition, image contrast and quality represent significant improvements over conventional systems. Imaging of the breast can be performed with only light immobilization and without the need of full compression. The Discovery NM 750b is intended to become part of a comprehensive arsenal of advanced imaging technologies that includes PET (Positron Emission Tomography), Spiral CT and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
Treatment planning and the important role of monitoring
Today, biopharmaceuticals are becoming more focused and targeted, enabling more personalized care. However, these therapies are increasingly expensive, so to maximize clinical impact it is critical to identify which patients may have a high likelihood of response to a particular type and course of treatment. Results from multimodality diagnosis, including ultrasound, MRI-guided biopsy, molecular breast imaging and molecular diagnostics, can help oncologists best determine appropriate treatments for patients. Additionally, cancer profiling, part of the Clarient suite of offerings, is expected to gain increasing importance in helping physicians identify appropriate patient populations for particular treatment therapies.
Due to advances in cancer treatment, there are increasing populations of survivors. Effective and efficient long-term monitoring technologies also are critical.
GE’s wide bore radiotherapy portfolio – including the Discovery CT590 RT and Optima* CT580 RT – is dedicated to meeting both current and future clinical oncology demands for diagnostic accuracy, enhanced visualization, complex patient positioning and monitoring, and productive workflow. These cutting-edge CT systems are designed to aid in treatment planning and help physicians address the increasingly specialized imaging needs of patients.
Additionally, during active treatment, many physicians rely on GE Healthcare systems and tools to monitor tumor response to a particular course of treatment. The company recently introduced the new Discovery* PET/CT 710, with 128-slice imaging capabilities, and Q.Suite — a collection of capabilities designed to extend quantitative PET by generating more consistent Standardized Uptake Value (SUV) readings — enabling clinicians to assess treatment response accurately. During the course of cancer treatment, clinicians traditionally gauge progress by looking for physical changes in the size of a tumor, typically using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR). In many cases, however, metabolic changes in a tumor can be perceived earlier than physical ones, so quantitative PET can give physicians an additional, earlier way to view how well a treatment is working.
For quantitative PET to be effective, consistency of SUV measurements between a patient’s baseline scan and subsequent follow-up scans on a single scanner is critical. Variation can occur throughout the PET workflow, in areas from patient management and biology to equipment protocols and performance. Controlling these variables to increase consistency can improve the clinician’s confidence that an SUV change has true clinical meaning.
Q.Suite is designed to help improve consistency of quantitative measurements in every key area: daily quality control, scanner workflow, motion correction, reconstruction algorithms, and analysis and reporting applications. By combining the capabilities of Q.Suite with updated clinical practices, GE Healthcare believes the consistency of PET measurements can increase dramatically. The goal: a more personalized approach to help raise the standard of care for all patients.
Visualizing and analyzing disease and treatment response requires powerful tools. With tools that work together to drive quantitative consistency, clinicians may get an earlier view of how well a treatment is working. This is the key to personalized care – finding the most effective treatment sooner, based on each patient’s response.
A commitment to cancer
The GE commitment to cancer spans beyond its own products and services Building on its 50 years in the oncology space, in September 2011 GE, through healthymagination, announced a new commitment to take cancer research, diagnostics and treatment to the next level. The company committed to accelerate cancer innovation by investing $1 billion in cancer technology research and development as well as improve care for 10 million cancer patients around the world by 2020.
In tandem with that announcement, GE and several partners launched a $100 million open innovation cancer challenge, an open call to action seeking ideas to accelerate early detection and enable more personalized treatment for breast cancer. GE and its venture capital partners pledged up to $100 million to fund breakthrough ideas that help healthcare professionals better understand triple negative cancer pathways, and the molecular similarities between breast cancer and other solid tumors.
The challenge garnered more than 500 ideas from 40 countries, sparking robust conversations among more than 200 academic institutions and researchers on the Challenge’s open innovation platform. In March 2012 the first five innovation award winners were announced. The five innovation award winners have the potential to help doctors find cancer earlier, make more accurate diagnoses and choose the best possible treatment based on each patient’s unique cancer.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.
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Scott Lerman - Americas Public Relations Manager, Medical Diagnostics
P: +1 609 937 9253 (on site at ASCO) - E: scott.lerman[.]ge.com.