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Next level of camera development for molecular/nuclear imaging incorporates PET, CT, SPECT


Tri-modality imaging on live small animals introduced at Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Annual Meeting June 18–22 in Toronto

The first imaging system to offer researchers three different imaging techniques in one instrument--allowing flexibility in configuring anatomical and functional imaging modalities that will best support their research objectives--was introduced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s 52nd Annual Meeting June 18–22 in Toronto.

"For years researchers have been taking clinical imaging systems and retrofitting them so they could be used to image animals, and this approach has limitations," said SNM member Bradley E. Patt, Ph.D. "Combining anatomical computed tomography (CT) imaging with the functional positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging in one instrument gives researchers a revolutionary set of imaging tools in one seamless system," he said. "Researchers can choose the modalities that best fit their research goals," added Patt, the president and chief executive officer of Gamma Medica, Northridge, Calif.

Clinical systems have been very expensive and unable to deal effectively with the physiology of small animals, explained Patt. "In the last few years there has been a tremendous demand for systems that are designed specifically to image small animals, and more applications for small animal imaging systems are being discovered every day," he added.

"Innovation and development in pre-clinical research is now occurring at a furious pace. As new discoveries are translated into the clinic, patients will benefit greatly," said Patt. I. George Zubal, vice chair of SNM’s Scientific Program Committee (Instrumentation and Data Analysis Track), agreed, noting, "PET/CT and hybrid PET/SPECT cameras initiated a new way of thinking about imaging systems." The associate professor of diagnostic radiology and technical director of nuclear medicine at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., added, "Tri-modality, which merges these two merged systems, takes us to the next level of camera development."

With the Gamma Medica imaging system, researchers will be able to use PET only, CT only, PET with CT, SPECT with CT or all three, said Patt. "Researchers can acquire the subsystems that best help them achieve their research objectives while keeping the flexibility to add modalities as research needs," he added. Imaging systems like this could speed the development of life-saving drugs by allowing researchers to do work faster and more efficiently, he noted.

Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
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