The primary imaging modality used in breast cancer screening is mammography and every year, women undergo 40 million mammograms in the United States alone. During screening, if a woman has an abnormal mammographic finding, additional imaging and a biopsy may be recommended. Approximately 1.7 million breast biopsies are performed every year as a result of the observation of suspicious lesions. Approximately 1.3 million of these biopsies result in a benign diagnosis (approximately 80%). The estimated annual cost of negative biopsies in the U.S. is approximately $4B.
Since the VPAC1 receptor is highly expressed on breast cancer cells with minimal expression on nonmalignant tissues, the utilization of NV-VPAC1 technology to improve the specificity of the early stage diagnosis of breast cancer has the potential to significantly reduce the number of negative breast biopsies that are done annually as part of the breast cancer screening process. NuView Life Sciences estimates that from 20% to 50% of women who are scheduled for a breast biopsy may have the option to undergo a NV-VPAC1TM-PET scan to improve the image-based diagnosis of breast cancer and avoid the necessity of a breast biopsy.
For example, the NV-VPAC1-PET technology can potentially be used in patients who have had a mammogram with suspicious findings and in whom a breast biopsy is indicated. Such patients could undergo an NV-VPAC1TM-PET scan post-mammography and prior to the biopsy. NuView Life Sciences is in the process of designing clinical trials to demonstrate the benefit of the NV-VPAC1TM-PET technology in this setting.