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Siemen’s Biograph mMR

Molecular Imaging

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
From the June 2014 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Molecular imaging is an ever-changing field as new imaging technologies emerge and take over some, or all the turf of the previous modalities. Right now, this is in somewhat of a holding pattern as researchers and clinicians conduct further investigation into PET/MR’s usefulness.

PET/MR started solely as a research modality, but it’s beginning to creep into the clinical setting and so the question now arises as to whether it can perform certain applications better than PET/CT.

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Many challenges still stand in the way of the modality gaining widespread adoption so for now it poses little threat to PET/CT. Nevertheless, PET/CT is still continuing to make some notable strides.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, SPECT, an older modality, seems to still be on people’s minds even though newer imaging technologies have captured the limelight. Just like PET/MR, experts have mixed opinions about what place SPECT has in the future.

PET/MR has its benefits and challenges
What makes PET/MR so attractive is its superior soft-tissue contrast and lower radiation dose over PET/CT. “For certain applications we may move away from PET/CT to PET/MR and that is really going to be another big revolution in medical imaging,” says Dr. Abass Alavi, professor of radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Alavi also sits on the editorial advisory board for DOTmed HealthCare Business News).

Researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center have investigated those applications and have published their findings in the September issue of Current Radiology Reports in an article titled “PET/MRI: Applications in Clinical Imaging.”

They collaborated with Philips Healthcare, using their Ingenuity TF PET/MR, and found that PET/MR is particularly promising for oncologic applications, and provides added value in the diagnosis, staging and treatment planning of colorectal, cervical, uterine, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers and also provides strong support for the diagnostic management of children and young adults.

“The initial focus of our experiences with this new hybrid modality, worldwide, was gained in the field of oncologic imaging,” says Dr. Karin Herrmann, one of the researchers.

However, Herrmann adds that the research is still ongoing and they are continuing to investigate where the modality is helpful. There are currently three PET/MR models on the market today sold by Siemens Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare. However, Siemens’ Biograph mMR is the only vendor to offer a whole body and fully integrated PET and MR scanner that performs simultaneous imaging.
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