) reported positive results from a study validating the company's
3D Mammography (breast tomosynthesis) screening technology. Per the
study, Hologic's 3D mammography leads to more efficient and
accurate detection of invasive breast cancers, compared to a
The study, "Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in
Combination with Digital Mammography", was published in the June
25, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
A Brief Note about the Study
Mammography plays a key role in detecting early-stage breast cancer
in women. Currently, Hologic 3D Mammography is the first and the
only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 3D
mammography system available in the U.S.
The purpose of the JAMA 3D study was to verify whether mammography
combined with tomosynthesis can improve the performance of breast
screening programs in the U.S. This study focused on the two prior
concerns related to breast cancer screening. Firstly, a number of
cancers are being detected in women which do not need any treatment
and secondly, too many women are recalled for unnecessary
A total of 454,850 screening mammograms were evaluated at 13
institutional sites by 139 radiologists and were used for primary
analysis. This multi center analysis compared performance of breast
cancer screening before and after the introduction of tomosynthesis
over 2 periods.
Of the 454,850 candidates, only digital mammography was performed
on 281,187 (61.8%) in the first period, while mammography and
tomosynthesis were jointly performed on 173,663 (38.2%) in the
The mean age of patients undergoing imaging with digital
mammography alone was 57.0 years, and for those with digital
mammography and tomosynthesis, was 56.2 years.
The study underscored a 41% increase in the detection of invasive
breast cancers and a 29% increase in the detection of all breast
cancers when screened with digital mammography and tomosynthesis.
Cancer was detected in 1207 women with digital mammography and in
950 women with digital mammography and tomosynthesis. The cancer
detection rate per 1000 examinations for the cohort screened with
digital mammography was 4.2 compared with 5.4 when screened with
digital mammography and tomosynthesis.
The results indicated an overall increase in cancer detection rate
of 1.2 with digital mammography and tomosynthesis compared with
digital mammography alone, per 1000 women.
After implementation of tomosynthesis, the invasive cancer
detection rate increased from 2.9 to 4.1 per 1000, representing a
relative increase of 41%, which proved the efficacy of Hologic's 3D
mammography combined with tomosynthesis in breast cancer screening.
Moreover, researchers found that 3D mammography reduces the number
of women recalled for unnecessary testing due to false alarms by
15%. This can help reduce unwanted anxiety in patients and curb
unnecessary health care costs.
Currently, Hologic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked medical instrument stocks that warrant a look are
Alphatec Holdings, Inc.
). While Alphatec and Luminex sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Accuray holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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