GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) is highlighting the benefits of the company’s broad portfolio of advanced cancer diagnostic solutions as part of its ongoing commitment to innovation in diagnostic oncology at Arab Health 2014. These breakthrough offerings are in the spirit of GE’s US$1 billion commitment to fight cancer.
According to estimates by the World Health Organization, cancer is currently the fourth highest cause of death in the region, with breast, bladder, lung, mouth and colon the most common1. It is estimated that 240,000 people die from the disease each year across the region.
Last year, GE had also commissioned a global study on the rising incidence of breast cancer incidence and mortality, which represent a significant and growing threat for the developing world. The report entitled ‘the prevention, early detection and economic burden of breast cancer’ observed that 15 million years of ‘healthy life’ were lost worldwide in 2008 due to women dying early or being ill with the disease2. For women in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, for example, the number of healthy years lost due to death was up to 7 times greater than elsewhere in the world.
Maher Abouzeid, President and CEO of GE Healthcare for the Middle East and Pakistan, said: “Advancing healthcare, together, GE Healthcare brings 50 years of global experience in the field of oncology to the Middle East. Covering the spectrum of care, GE’s comprehensive offerings support clinicians in cancer screening, diagnosis and disease staging to treatment planning and monitoring.”
“The cancer care technologies and solutions highlighted at Arab Health 2014 underline our commitment to support the region in addressing the growing incidence of cancers in the region. With estimates that cancers are diagnosed much later in life, it is important that we shift the focus to an earlier model of diagnosis, which calls for advanced technologies that allow clinicians to see more and that sharpen reliability while reducing dosage levels. This is reflected in the wide spectrum of technologies and competencies we are showcasing at the exhibition that will also enable physicians to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and potentially lower costs.”
Introducing the GE Healthcare Q.Clear PET/CT
The value of Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET/CT) in diagnostic imaging in oncology is well established, but now, even brighter possibilities are coming to light, with new quantitative tools that generate more consistent PET measurements. This will enable clinicians to more accurately assess treatment response, therefore supporting more personalized care.
One of the key innovations showcased by GE Healthcare is the new 510(k)-pending Q.Clear^ technology, which provides up to two times improvement in PET quantitative accuracy (SUVmean) and image quality (signal-to-noise ratio), enabling clinicians to quickly and confidently evaluate a patient’s response to cancer treatment. It shows the advantage of full convergence PET imaging without compromise between quantitation and image quality.
In the field of Oncology, PET/CT imaging can be an invaluable diagnostic tool for monitoring cancer treatment. It can also help clinicians tailor a regimen of therapies to fit their patients' individual needs. GE Healthcare’s Discovery 710 Elite is designed to enable a whole new level of performance by incorporating high sensitivity and low dose innovations with new quantitative tools that generate more consistent PET measurements, enabling clinicians to more accurately assess treatment response to support more personalized care, into a premium platform.
According to studies, sometimes 6 cycles of chemotherapy are required to determine if the treatment is effective for patients; this could lead to the cost of a patient’s chemotherapy drugs alone reaching $100,000 a year. Other data show that 70% of cancer patients to not respond to their initial chemotherapy treatment3.
“If we can give clinicians a more accurate, reliable and faster tool to determine treatment efficacy sooner it may help confirm that a change in treatment is needed, enabling clinicians to adjust their approach, reducing the cost of ineffective therapy and improving the patient’s quality of life. For example, PET/CT can help clinicians determine whether chemotherapy is working after as few as one to two cycles, potentially saving patients unnecessary procedures and a significant amount of money. Q.Clear gives clinicians the ability to help make that determination. Coupled with GE Healthcare’s Q.Suite, which introduced the importance of eliminating variability such as respiratory motion, Q.Clear will enable clinicians to assess treatment response more accurately than ever before,” said Abouzeid.
Presenting the SenoClaire, GE’s new generation of breast tomosynthesis
Also being presented for the first time in the Middle East at Arab Health is the SenoClaire designed with a three-dimensional imaging technology. Powered by ASiR*DBT 1, SenoClaire technology uses a low-dose short X-ray sweep around the positioned breast with nine exposures acquired with a “step-and-shoot” method, removing the potential motion from images.
In addition, SenoClaire will help deliver superior sensitivity for architectural distortions and masses, help improve specificity of lesion margin visibility, and ultimately, help radiologists reduce recall rates through better characterization of findings. Finally, its images are compatible with major PACS systems, so that radiologists can integrate them easily into their environment and get the most from their investment.
“In the area of breast cancer, GE Healthcare has a broad array of technologies and solutions. With the introduction of SenoClaire, we are bringing a new generation of breast tomosynthesis, which, added to our wider portfolio, enables us to provide healthcare providers with a comprehensive set of tools that will help their patients at every point in the entire care continuum,” added Abouzeid.
GE shows developmental PET detector technology utilizing MR-compatible Silicon Photomultiplier
An innovative technology being shown for the first time in the region at Arab Health is GE’s latest PET detector technology that utilizes a compact, MR-compatible Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM), engineered to enable faster response times and improved sensitivity. This is designed to provide enhanced PET image quality with improved sensitivity and Time of Flight (TOF) capability while combining these images with the soft-tissue contrast of MR. The fast SiPM detectors help achieve the highest possible counts and are the catalyst for TOF reconstruction. TOF capability improves the signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio by more accurately localizing the annihilation event and reducing noise spread across the line-of-response (LOR). With TOF, doctors have been able to improve the visualization and localization of PET tracers relative to surrounding structures.
Commenting on the technology, Richard Hausmann, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s MR business said, “GE is very excited to display this innovative MR-compatible SiPM technology.” The integration of SiPM technology with MR will have huge benefits for clinicians; having simultaneous PET and MR exams can provide them with imaging information related to metabolic activity to help shorten the time between diagnosis and treatment for patients.”
Demonstrating GE Healthcare’s commitment to improving cancer care in the region, MediClinic City Hospital has selected GE Healthcare as one of their key technology providers for a first of its kind Oncology Centre in the UAE.
The Platinum Sponsor of Arab Health 2014, GE Healthcare is extending its support to leading conferences held on the sidelines of the event, including the Big Data Conference, Leaders in Healthcare, Middle East Anesthesia and Radiology Conferences.
Visit GE Healthcare’s pavilion at Sheikh Saeed Hall, Booth No: S3B10.