Wisconsin hospital invests in new braining-imaging technology

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Milwaukee, Wis.-based Froedtert Hospital has invested $1.5 million in a new brain-imaging technology developed by Kyron Clinical Imaging Inc. in nearby Wauwatosa.

A spin-off of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Kyron was founded in 2004 by three members of the Medical College’s radiology department faculty. Froedtert Hospital provided the proving ground for the principles behind the technology.

“Kyron’s new medical imaging tools are a breakthrough that has the potential to improve survival and quality of life for brain cancer patients,” said Michael Schmainda, Kyron president and chief operating officer. “This financial support from Froedtert positions Kyron to accelerate product development and bring physicians new tools and patients new hope in treating this very complex disease.”

Kyron developed a computerized system that compiles and integrates a variety of images produced by different types of MRI systems. According to Schmainda, the system, which combines information about brain anatomy, biology and function, is the only one of its kind in the world today. With a unified picture of the brain, physicians will be able to quickly and accurately diagnose tumors and develop more effective surgical and radiation treatment plans.

“The extraordinary potential of this technology to improve patient care made investing in Kyron an easy decision,” said William D. Petasnick, president and CEO of Froedtert Hospital and Froedtert & Community Health. “It’s a textbook example of transferring research to the bedside, and Froedtert’s support of Kyron is consistent with our belief in advancing innovation that will bring both health and economic benefits to the community.”

In December 2005, Kyron received FDA clearance for the first phase of its brain- imaging technology, and the approval process is underway for the remaining two phases. Towards the end of this year full FDA clearance is expected and the system will be available for use with patients. Primary users of the technology are expected to be brain surgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, and radiologists.