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Dr Nick Perry: Launch of the London Breast Institute

Private Medical Practice in London is perceived to be of excellent standard, yet quality of service delivery does not always match this. Academic endeavour leading to research publication is rare in this environment. With the launch of the Breast Institute we aim to address the former and correct the latter

The Princess Grace Breast Unit has an already established reputation for ground breaking excellence of its equipment. It was the first Unit in the UK to use Full Field Digital Mammography (2000), the first to employ Premium View image enhancing software (2002), the first to have direct in-line Computer Aided Detection for mammograms (2003), and the first to take delivery of the latest Essential mammography machine (2006). Also in 2006 it was the first Unit in Europe to use the exciting Suros Atec Vacuum Assisted Biopsy device, which not only allows enhanced tissue diagnosis from breast lesions but also enables complete removal of breast masses up to 3 centimetres in size under local anaesthetic and a 4 millimetre skin incision without the need for General Anaesthetic or in-patient stay.

Platinum Standard levels of excellence will be laid out for the Breast Unit and its staff. Such standards will be auditable and hard to obtain- let alone equal, however we are in a unique position to be able to do this thanks to the uniquely high standard of our Multidisciplinary team.

We have already participated in International research, with the US lead Multicentre HEDA electrical impulse screening trial, the only UK centre to participate. With a database of 35000 archived Digital mammograms we have a wonderful opportunity to carry out analysis of data and publish. We have already submitted two abstracts for presentation. One of these demonstrates a significant benefit in cancer detection rates from screening with Digital mammography as opposed to conventional analogue technology. The other shows a greater likelihood of women residing in urban areas having increased breast density compared to women with rural addresses. Density is a known risk factor for breast cancer.

To facilitate and coordinate research activity we have formed links with UK and European workers of International repute. A research board will meet regularly and an Annual Scientific Meeting held.

For the future we have established a partnership with GE to keep us at the leading edge of Mammographic Imaging and hopefully carry out clinical studies of Digital Tomosynthesis – a logical progression of the Digital platform. We are also working closely with our friends and colleagues at Suros to start work on a system of vacuum excision of small breast cancers immediately followed by cryotherapy in order to eventually develop a non-surgical technique of management for this disease.