by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | June 11, 2012
From the June 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
“What we need in order to do this is an accurate and repeatable way to measure the activity in the lesion. That’s what we mean by quantitation,” says Bhatt.”We are taking the data from every count, every image and every piece of information collected—taking that and putting it in one single image,” he says of the just introduced Q. Freeze technique for motion management. Traditional approaches have been to use only data collected during one phase of breathing to reduce motion artifacts.
GE recently introduced its Q. Suite line of tools, which promise to create more consistent readings through quantitation. It does this by working through what Bhatt says are the main causes for variability for PET readings: motion, stability of equipment and reconstruction, and managing patients consistently.
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Siemens new Biograph mCT also brings reproducible quantification to molecular imagining. For cancer, this can mean detecting, characterizing and monitoring lesions more precisely, therefore making treatment more cost effective.
“Now the advantage has been determined that instead of having patients go through 12 weeks of therapy to see that it’s not working, they can do a repeat scan at four weeks to see if treatment is responding,” says Robert Brait, PET/CT product manager at Siemens.
Is the future PET/MR?
SNM’s Jadvar says that PET/MR is a rather natural extension of what happened with hybrid imaging and PET/CT. “But it’s going to take some time before what we call the ‘killer applications’ can be identified.” With a foothold in PET/CT all the way down to the radiotracers, Siemens is recognized for being a true molecular imaging company. Naturally, the company saw an opportunity in combining PET and MRI.
Siemens’ Biograph mMR was introduced at RSNA in 2010.
“It’s the only simultaneous PET/MR hybrid scanner available in the world. Others might do it, but not simultaneously,” says Abe Voorhees, U.S. product manager for Siemens’ Biograph mMR PET/MR system.
Siemens has already installed the system in four high-end research sites across the U.S., with plans for 10 more by the end of the year.
“Definitely, on the research side, it offers capabilities never seen before. It’s MRI and PET together so from a diagnostic perspective, it’s a very exciting combination,” says Voorhees.
Voorhees speculates that once PET/MR becomes more widely available, its capabilities will really shine in areas where there’s additional soft tissue contrast needed. “These are areas where CT maybe just can’t show you the structure that you need to see for radiation treatment planning or surgical intervention.”