Paige Huber, MD, breast radiologist with AnMed Health in Anderson, SC, prepares to biopsy under ultrasound guidance with the Suros Celero handheld biopsy device made by Hologic.

Thanks to a string of mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, in addition to internal product developments, women’s health care company Hologic Inc, Bedford, Mass, is now offering a comprehensive ultrasound-guidance portfolio to the US market, from vacuum-assisted core biopsy to targeted radiation therapy to diagnostic ultrasound imaging itself.

“We now have the ability to image, biopsy, diagnose, and then treat women with breast cancer,” said Kyle Curry, product marketing manager of the interventional breast solutions business at Hologic. “And we offer all our products to the breast surgeon base through a single sales channel.”

Hologic’s ultrasound-guidance portfolio includes the Suros Celero vacuum-assisted core biopsy system, the SecurMark for Celero biopsy site identifiers, and the MammoSite targeted radiation therapy system. Jim Culley, marketing manager at Hologic, emphasized the impact the Hologic MammoSite targeted radiation therapy product is having on the breast health marketplace. “We’re the only company with 7 years of experience with women having this therapy. The American Society of Breast Surgeons has even set up a special panel tracking MammoSite, and the panel just published its 5-year results.”

One of the newest products from Hologic is a line of SecurMark site identifiers, which use a biocompatible titanium clip surrounded by a suture-like material designed to minimize marker movement within the biopsy cavity. The identifiers are designed for use with the Celero system, which was released in April of last year.

Grouping everything a breast surgeon would need for ultrasound-guided imaging, biopsy, and treatment is an example of the kind of product integration Hologic is going through across all its women’s health care businesses. The plan is to make logical product groupings and offer them through a single sales channel. “An example of synergy between our businesses is how our very popular MultiCare Platinum breast biopsy table interfaces with our ATEC breast biopsy devices,” Curry said. “The two systems work perfectly together. Their performance is truly optimized. We showed the benefits of integration in our interventional breast solution business at RSNA last year, and we’ll show many more examples at RSNA 2008. And integrated product lines have the potential to pay off in a big way when it comes to improving patient care by reducing time to diagnosis.”

Hologic customers see the value in integration as well. “With Hologic offering a full line of ultrasound breast care products, we are able to drastically shorten the time it takes from performing an abnormal ultrasound biopsy to giving the patient a diagnosis,” said Thomas Heck, MD, medical director of the Samaritan Breast Center, Dayton, Ohio. “The waiting period is sometimes now just 1 day. This is a huge help in significantly lowering patient anxiety.”

—Cat Vasko