PET is a new generation of medical imaging for examining the biology of disease that has been shown to dramatically improve the detection of cancer, stage the extent of cancer throughout the body, detect recurrence of cancer and to help select the right therapy for individual patients.
In Alzheimer's disease, PET has been shown to have a 93% accuracy in detecting Alzheimer's about three years before the conventional diagnosis of "Probable Alzheimer's", when integrated into the clinical workup of patients. In addition, PET has been shown to detect Alzheimer's and other neurological disease years before even symptoms are expressed. PET is also employed to determine which patients with cardiovascular disease will benefit from bypass surgery and angioplasty.
These and other clinical uses of PET employ a labeled version of the sugar glucose, called Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Glucose is a critical fuel for cells throughout the body to perform their normal functions. For example, 95% of the energy for the brain to function comes from glucose. In addition, cancer cells increase their metabolism of glucose about 25 fold. There were about three million clinical PET studies performed in clinical services throughout the world in 2005.
Published this week in the journal Science, scientists demonstrated a new
technology of a programmable chip that can dramatically accelerate the
Contact: Rachel Champeau
University of California - Los Angeles