PET stands for positron emission tomography and it detects changes in cellular function how cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Areas with a high degree of metabolic activity have a greater chance of being cancerous. A computerized tomography or CT scan allows physicians to see the internal or anatomical structures within the human body. Together these two technologies make up the revolutionary PET/CT scan that enable Fox Chase physicians to view metabolic activity and pinpoint the location of abnormal lesions to target the disease more precisely.
"When used alone the PET and CT scans are good diagnostic tools, but when combined, they're much superior," says Adler. "The advantage here is the cancer is highlighted on the computer screen. We're able to pinpoint the location of the cancer, determine the extent of the disease, and evaluate the effectiveness of the patient's treatment," says Adler.
The PET/CT unit will be used at Fox Chase to determine if tumors are benign or malignant, to examine if prior therapy has been effective, and to detect if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This technology will be particularly useful to more accurately diagnos
Contact: Sue Montgomery Madden
Fox Chase Cancer Center