iCAD Partners with the TME Breast Care Network to Host Virtual Event: Breast Care Roundtable in the Age of COVID-19
iCAD, Inc., a global medical technology leader providing innovative cancer detection and therapy solutions, today announced that it has partnered with the TME Breast Care Network to host a free virtual roundtable event for clinicians, titled “Breast Care Roundtable in the Age of COVID-19,” on April 21, 2020, at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.
“Our goal with this collective effort and series of events is to provide an educational awareness forum for clinicians to share insights and best practices on enhancing patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” according to Michael Klein, Chairman and CEO of iCAD. “Clinicians are in search of practical solutions to emerging challenges COVID-19 has introduced. We want to provide a platform for those discussions to help breast care providers on the front lines come together to identify new best practices and standards of care during this unprecedented time.”
Founded in 2011, the TME (Targeted Medical Education) Breast Care Network is comprised of nationally recognized clinical thought leaders in the breast cancer risk, detection, genetics and precision treatment space. The network provides physician education, registry research, and advisory services with the ultimate goal of improving the quality and access to advanced breast care.
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“The novel coronavirus pandemic has markedly changed clinical practice as far as breast cancer screening goes,” according to Peter Beitsch, MD, FACS, Director, Dallas Breast Center, Managing Partner, TME, Past President of the American Society of Breast Surgery (ASBS). “Although diagnostic mammograms may still be taking place for women who have symptoms indicative of cancers, regular screenings are increasingly being delayed for many asymptomatic women in order to allow hospitals and doctors to focus on patients with COVID-19. In general, any delay in diagnosis and treatment could have a negative effect on patients’ overall survival and prognosis.”
Almost 40 million women are screened for breast cancer each year in the U.S., which is an average of 3.3 million women per month.1 In order to allow clinicians to focus on critical COVID-19 cases, several organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology, are recommending low-risk women delay screening mammograms until the pandemic has passed.
“Inevitably, this guidance to delay screening will lead to a backlog at some point. This is unprecedented. Many radiology practices and imaging centers are able to accommodate higher volumes of patients for busier times of the year, but the longer that screening is not being performed, the more they will have to make up for in the coming months,” according to Pat Whitworth Jr., MD, FACS, Director, Nashville Breast Center, Managing Partner, TME, Past Chairman, ASBS.
“This is not a normal year,” agreed Walton Taylor, MD, Texas Health Physicians Group, Past President, ASBS. “Now is our chance to determine which women need to be prioritized for the limited appointments that are available at imaging centers and hospitals. It is critical for clinicians to determine which women need to be screened more urgently. Technology such as ProFound AI can help doctors decide which patients should still get mammograms within this finite amount of time, and this technology could also help clinicians more efficiently manage the surge of patients who will need to be screened once COVID-19 passes. Appropriate screening during this period of limited resources can really make a difference and save lives.”
ProFound AI, which aids in the detection of breast cancer in 3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), became the first software of its kind to be FDA-cleared in December 2018. Following its launch, iCAD has placed more than 500 installations in a growing number of leading institutions worldwide. Trained with one of the largest available DBT datasets, the technology rapidly and accurately analyzes each DBT image, or slice, and provides radiologists with key information, such as Certainty of Finding lesion and Case Scores, which assists in clinical decision-making and improving reading efficiency. Featuring the latest in deep-learning artificial intelligence, ProFound AI offers a trifecta of clinically proven benefits for physicians and patients, including an 8 percent improvement in sensitivity, a 7 percent improvement in specificity, and a 52.7 percent reduction in reading time for radiologists.2
“This pandemic may change the way clinicians approach screening, as it is increasingly encouraging radiologists to adapt to a more targeted, risk-adapted screening methodology. The medical community is in desperate need of technology such as iCAD’s ProFound AI, which may help clinicians sort out which women would benefit the most from more urgent screening,” Dr. Beitsch added.
At the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting in 2019, iCAD introduced ProFound AI Powered by Panorama, an initiative that will enable clinicians to consider patients’ prior images* and prospective breast cancer risk assessment* over time.
“Our Panoramic vision goes beyond detection. It is a more holistic clinical approach to breast cancer screening that will allow physicians to consider patients’ past and present images along with other, more personalized, risk factors,” added Mr. Klein. “Last year we entered into an exclusive relationship with researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the world’s foremost medical research universities, to develop an AI-based solution that will identify a women’s individual risk of developing breast cancer. Their research involved more than 70,000 women over eight years, offering critical information that will provide clinicians with a broader view of each individual patient’s case, history, and short-term risk.”
“COVID-19 is also accelerating advanced techniques in breast cancer treatment that are beneficial for patients and the healthcare system as a whole,” according to Barry Rosen, MD, FACS, Chief of Breast Surgery, Advocate Healthcare and Managing Partner, TME. “Even though we are currently in the midst of a crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is paving the way for more breast cancer surgeons to opt for abbreviated cancer therapies, such as intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), as a way to streamline treatment for patients and allow them to avoid making frequent trips to the hospital.”
IORT with the Xoft® Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx®) System® is a single-fraction therapy option that allows patients who are candidates to replace weeks of daily radiation with one treatment, delivered at the time of surgery. Because this targeted treatment offers a full course of radiation in just one day, it could significantly reduce the healthcare system resources needed and minimize patients’ risk of COVID-19 exposure.
“Our technology – including ProFound AI and the Xoft System – is now more relevant than ever,” added Mr. Klein. “iCAD’s technology offers practical solutions for clinicians that may help to address emerging challenges introduced during these extraordinary times.”
The virtual roundtable event will also kick off a series of webinars hosted by iCAD, featuring leading experts in breast cancer detection and treatment, who will discuss various aspects of breast cancer care in more detail, including risk adaptive tools and other pragmatic solutions that are relevant in the era of COVID-19.
“Doctors are hungry right now for information that can help them deliver the best care possible to their patients in this new environment,” added Dr. Whitworth. “We are all adapting and learning as we navigate these unchartered waters, and any event that brings clinicians together to share how they are solving these problems will be incredibly beneficial to both patients and the medical community as a whole.”
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