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Positron-Emission Tomography (PET) is a form of nuclear medicine imaging in which a small, safe amount of radioactive tracer is injected into the bloodstream. This radiotracer is labelled to small proteins that attach and concentrate in cancer cells, allowing cancer to be visualised no matter where it is in the body. The most common form of PET tracer utilised is Fluoro-deoxyglucose, a form of radiolabelled sugar. The PET scanner visualises uptake of the radiolabelled sugar to image the tissue and organs in the body and provide valuable information for the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases like cancer, or brain and heart disease.
St Vincent's theranostic department specialises in offering a variety of PET tracer agents that target specific cancers, such as prostate, neuroendocrine and breast cancer. The department was the first department in NSW to offer prostate specific PET tracers, and continues to lead the way in imaging trials. To see what trials are currently open, please clink on the link.
The new Siemens Biograph Vision PET machine installed at St Vincent's in 2020 is the latest digital technology, capable of detecting cancer deposits just a few millimetres in size, whilst reducing the radiation dose to patients and the time required in the scanner.
The St Vincent's PET machines are able to provide high-resolution CT scans at the same time as a PET scan, saving time and providing the most useful anatomical and functional information to guide treatment. Additionally the department has high end fusion software such that MRI, CT and PET imaging can be simultaneously viewed, maximising diagnostic value for patients and referrers.
For further information about what PET imaging is done within the department, click on the link.
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