Breast Biopsy Devices: Interventional Medicine Comes to Breast Cancer
This article was originally published in Start Up
In breast cancer, the need for less invasive alternatives to surgery is gaping, particularly on the diagnostic side. Following routine screening mammography, 1.4 million women in the US each year have breast biopsies once a radiologist identifies a suspicious lesion. However, only 20% of women undergoing biopsies will be found to have cancer and not just abnormal, but benign growths. Several new companies have gone to the drawing board to remedy the shortcomings of biopsy devices.
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J&J Subsidiary Biopsys pioneered minimally-invasive breast core biopsy and was the lone player in the market for years. But now, Suros Surgical Systems has launched a competing vacuum-assisted biopsys system that is making incursions on J&J's market share with an improved technology that is the first that is suitable for MRI-guided breast biopsy.
Artemis Medical hopes to combine the diagnostic accuracy of surgical biopsy with the comfort and rapid healing time of minimally invasive biopsy, with a device that can remove an architecturally intact 12mmX 14mm sample of tissue through a 6mm skin opening.
Every week just under 19,000 breast biopsies are performed in the US to find only 2,800 cancers. While tissue biopsies will always be necessary to determine the degree, invasiveness and stage of masses that are cancerous, the founder of BioLuminate thought there ought to be a less invasive way to initially rule out cancer to prevent large numbers of biopsies on benign tissue. He believes he's found it in smart probe technology licensed from NASA.