Gilland’s collaborative research presented at the 2016 SNMMI Annual Meeting

Congratulations to Dr. David Gilland, associate professor and undergraduate coordinator in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, whose collaborative research was presented at the 2016 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Annual Meeting. The paper entitled, “Performance evaluation of a prototype gamma camera for molecular breast tomosynthesis,” aims to develop an improved method for the diagnosis of breast cancer using molecular imaging methods.

The research is an effort to advance two-dimensional Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) to three-dimensional Molecular Breast Tomosynthesis (MBT). MBI has shown an ability to detect tumors in cases in which the mammographic findings were inconclusive. The collaborators on this project include Dilon Technologies, Inc., a leading commercial manufacturer of MBI systems, and the radiation detector group at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator facility. The collaboration is an effort to address the unmet needs of finding breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue.

The system is based on a Variable Angle Slant Hole Collimator (VASH) that is made from lithographically produced tungsten plates. The plates can be computer controlled to view the breast from various angles without moving the camera and enables images of the structure in the breast to be taken from those angles. Similar to the way your eyes view objects from different angles to judge distance, these various images can be used to judge the distance to the objects and a three-dimensional image reconstructed. The results on laboratory produced breast phantoms indicate that the contrast of lesions in the breast can be increased by up to a factor of 6, and could potentially allow the radiation dose to the patient to be lowered by a factor of 2 from the current levels while maintaining the same or better image quality.

“We have been modeling the performance of the system for a few years and were encouraged when these experimental results agreed so well with the model. This will give us confidence in using the model to further optimize the system to achieve even better performance,” said Dr. Gilland.


Dilon Technologies, Inc. press release: