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Coming soon: 3-D imaging that flies 'through' and 'around' cancer

Stanford University researchers demonstrated for the first time the ability to create 3-D positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) images for "fly-through" and "fly-around viewing" of cancer in the lungs and colon, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

This powerful ability to meld functional data with accurate anatomical information of possible cancerous tumors--from inside the body--provides a visual navigation of organs oftentimes portrayed on television crime shows like "CSI." Such visualization "may be used to detect and characterize cancer, spare someone from more invasive medical procedures, lead to better disease detection rates of colon cancer, provide surgical guidance and detect which tumors may be easier to biopsy," detailed Andrew Quon, clinical assistant professor of radiology/diagnostic radiology at California's Stanford University.

"Three-dimensional fusion provides unique views of the body that internal organs typically impede," said Quon. "Our new imaging and processing protocol can peel away the organs, highlight tumors and detect cancerous 'hot spots'--providing an omnipotent perspective of the body," he indicated. Stanford's 3-D fusion imaging "appears to have potential for presurgical visualization, particularly in guiding biopsies," explained the co-author of "'Flying Through'" and 'Flying Around' a PET/CT Scan: Pilot Study and Development of 3-D Integrated 18F-FDG PET/CT for Virtual Bronchoscopy and Colonoscopy." This imaging technique "may add important diagnostic information that may herald new applications for the use of PET/CT," he noted. In addition, its diagnostic value was demonstrated in one case in which it revealed a cancer lesion that had not been detected by PET, CT or PET/CT imaging. "This one case shows the potential synergistic enhancement of both PET and CT when rendered into three dimensions," said Quon.

PET and CT are standard imaging tools th
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Source:Society of Nuclear Medicine


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