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Taiwan-U.S. researchers work on breast PET-MRI

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | April 15, 2011
An Aurora breast
MRI system.
(Photo courtesy Aurora)
Taiwanese and American researchers are working on a device to detect breast cancer that unites PET and MRI technologies.

The project brings together National Cheng Kung University with the U.S. government-run Brookhaven National Laboratory and privately held American company Aurora Imaging Technology Inc. to develop the hybrid system, Taiwan Today reported Thursday.

[Read about the first PET-MRI system to get European regulatory approval.]
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The international public-private partnership has ambitious goals. The chair of Brookhaven's medical department, Gene-Jack Wang, said the new system should be able to spot breast tumors when they're only 0.2 centimeters big, according to Focus Taiwan. Current technology can only spot such cancers when they reach 4 centimeters, Wang said.

Cheng Kung researchers said it would also speed up diagnosis, from 30 minutes to under five minutes.

The team hopes to have the device in commercial production by Aurora in the next five years. Aurora, based in North Andover, Mass., makes breast MRI machines.

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