Progressing the state of Breast Imaging


Better, quicker and less obtrusive breast cancer detection; that’s what we’re aiming for.

Current breast screening techniques predominantly rely on x-ray mammography. This technology is effective when there is a significant difference between the density of the tumour and the surrounding breast tissue. However, between 25% to 50% of women have radiographically dense breasts, many of which are under 50. This makes it challenging to detect tumours using mammography. Therefore, the early detection of breast cancer is limited for these women.

In response, Kromek began its journey to progress the state of breast cancer detection in March 2018, partnering with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital NHS Foundation trust. £1.4m was awarded by Innovate UK to begin this programme; using Kromek’s CZT-based SPECT detectors to develop an alternative solution to mammography for women with dense breasts.

Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) overcomes the challenge of dense breasts, but it’s widespread adoption is constrained by its longer scan times and relatively high patient effective dose. To bring the benefits of MBI forward and leave its limitations behind, Kromek is developing Low Dose MBI technology. So far, simulations have shown Low Dose MBI is expected to achieve an overall reduction factor of 8 in dose, scan time, or, a combination of both. As a result, this project has the potential to achieve the enhanced detection of breast cancer in women with dense breasts, higher throughput and lower costs to hospitals.

In 2021, the project received a continuity grant, and then a further £2.5m of funding from Innovate UK in February 2023. This demonstrates the proficiency of our team involved, and the realised potential of such technology to improve the lives of affected individuals and loved ones.

The next steps involve further proving the feasibility of the technology via clinical trials and additional data collection.

Read the full scope of the project here!

  Back to Latest

Related articles