Sectra leads EU low-dose mammography research effort

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Swedish diagnostic imaging company Sectra, along with various clinical and industrial partners, has been awarded a $4.7 million contract to lead a research project in the European Union to decrease mortality in breast cancer through high-resolution, low-dose x-ray imaging. Sectra is the project lead for the effort which will spread across six European countries.

The project comprises development of novel imaging methods based on Sectra´s photon-counting detector technology. The objective is to improve the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and clinical evaluation of the new methods.

The project, dubbed “High-Resolution X-ray Imaging for Improved Detection and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer” (HighReX), will be part of the Sixth EU Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP6). Mammography physicians from several European breast imaging centers will test and evaluate the imaging techniques developed in the project and compare them to existing methods.

Low radiation dose is an important objective in mammography screening because women are examined relatively frequently. The EU backs the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle.

Sectra’s photon-counting detector technology is commercially available through Sectra MicroDose Mammography, a digital mammography system with a decidedly lower radiation dose. Within the HighReX project, Sectra will develop and evaluate novel methods for breast cancer detection and diagnosis, such as 3D/tomosynthesis, dual-energy and contrast mammography.