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Detecting metastatic cancer with total-body PET scans

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | July 16, 2020
Molecular Imaging

The researchers identified multiple metastases on the dynamic PET/CT scan. Parametric images of glucose influx rate showed improved tumor contrast over SUV in general, and specifically improved visualization of cancer lesion detection in the liver. Total-body kinetic quantification provided multi-parametric characterization of tumor metastases and organs of interest.

"Compared to the clinical standard — standardized uptake value (SUV) images — total-body dynamic PET offers parametric images of physiologically important parameters, which can (1) create higher tumor contrast, and (2) provide multiparametric characterization of tumors and organs," said Wang. "The benefit of higher tumor contrast can be translated to detect smaller liver metastases, which may change the management of patients as the presence of liver metastases can indicate poor prognosis."

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He adds that "multiparametric characterization can be used to understand the behavior of both tumor metastases and organs of interest such as the spleen and bone marrow. Thus, both tumor response and therapy side effects can be assessed using the same scan."

Development of uEXPLORER began in 2016 at UC Davis where researchers sought to create the first total-body PET scanner. The final product was approved by the FDA in 2019 under the ownership of United imaging Healthcare, which partnered with UC Davis on the development of the system.

The technique can be applied to assess the severity of non-cancers, as well as organ interactions in many other systemic diseases.

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