Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is fast becoming the imaging modality of choice for diagnosis, staging, evaluating recurrence and monitoring treatment outcomes in a range of oncological indications, cardiac disease and neurological conditions. As a functional imaging tool able to identify active malignant lesions, it is improving the way patients are managed and has potential to improve the treatment outcomes and quality of life of people affected by cancer.
Dr. Gary Cook, Consultant in Nuclear Medicine at the Royal Marsden Hospital, UK explains the power of PET and most recently PET/CT: "By including PET as a key diagnostic tool, optimal treatment can be tailored to individual patients in a cost-effective manner and by combining anatomical and functional scans, PET/CT can improve the diagnostic accuracy of either modality alone. This not only conserves limited budgets but also, perhaps more importantly, steers patients immediately to the most appropriate treatment.
Sadly, throughout Europe, there are insufficient PET scanners to cope with the numbers of patients who could benefit from PET – partly due to the inaccessibility of PET to most patients. Indeed, even if patients are able to travel long distances for a scan, long waiting lists tend to preclude the use of PET where decisions on treatment must be made immediately."
One solution to the lack of permanent scanners must be to consider the use of mobile units provided by respected operators such as Alliance Medical Group (AMG), who is increasing their investment in mobile PET and PET/CT systems across Europe to help meet with demand. "We are committed to our customers and their patients. Our continuous expansion of our PET and PET/CT mobile fleet with systems that meet our individual customers clinical needs, along with our in-depth support and expertise, offer hospitals a unique and exciting opportunity to gain access to the new modality," a spokesperson comments.
With the rapid advances being made in radiotracer development – and of course the greater availability of PET/CT scans, thanks to the increasing numbers of mobile units – PET is becoming more widely accessible.
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