Aurora Imaging Technology Inc. today announced that the Aurora® 1.5Tesla Dedicated Breast MRI System is immediately available to patients for the first time in Louisiana at the Women's Imaging Centre–Lafayette.

The Aurora System is the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared dedicated breast MRI system specifically designed for the detection, diagnosis and management of breast disease. The Women's Imaging Centre chose the Aurora System to service patients in Lafayette, La. and its surrounding parishes to offer advanced diagnostic imaging, and address the staggering breast cancer statistics in Louisiana.

According to the Louisiana Tumor Registry, breast cancer is the leading cause of malignancies in Louisiana women, accounting for 30 percent of all new cancer cases. Although in recent years this number has been lower than the national average, the state's breast cancer mortality rate exceeds the national level, accounting for more than 16 percent of all female cancer deaths in Louisiana.

"National breast cancer statistics have declined in recent years due to early detection and medical advancements, and with the aid of advanced technologies like the Aurora System, we are hopeful that these statistics will continually decrease across the U.S.," said Olivia Ho Cheng, president and chief executive officer, Aurora Imaging Technology Inc. "Women's health centers worldwide are increasingly discovering the Aurora System's unparalleled breast imaging capabilities. Today we proudly announce our partnership with Women's Imaging Centre to offer Louisiana patients the Aurora System's technology for optimum patient care."

The Aurora System features an exclusive precision gradient coil design to provide a large homogeneous elliptical field of view to image both breasts, the chest wall and axillae in a single bilateral scan. The benefit of this breakthrough design is the production of outstanding images in both clarity and contrast. Unique to the Aurora System is a computer-automated and fully integrated MR-guided biopsy technology which virtually eliminates human error and accurately determines needle placement for a seamless procedure. The Aurora System's advancements can help detect cancers at earlier stages of development, thus directly aiding in the fight against breast disease.
"Breast MRI is a continually emerging technology in breast health and after much research on the available technologies, we chose the Aurora System for our comprehensive, multimodality facility because it was the most favorable option to service our exclusive clientele of female patients," said Robert Lapidus, M.D., radiologist and principal, Women's Imaging Centre. "The Aurora System's unique characteristics

include superior imaging capabilities, an intuitive biopsy system, and a patient-friendly design that no other machine can offer."

The installation of the Aurora System at the Women's Imaging Centre supports the most recent American Cancer Society guideline, recommending breast MRI for women at high risk of breast cancer.