Fight vs cancer gets boost with GE scanner
THERE’S a new diagnostic tool now available for cancer patients at the Cardinal Santos Center in San Juan.
This image reconstruction machine is known as the General Electric (GE) Discovery PET/CT 710 system.
In layman’s terms, it is a combination of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and an x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner--used to acquire sequential images from both devices in one session.
From there, a single superposed image of an area of the body is produced.
The images gathered will show the spatial distribution of metabolic or biochemical activity in the body, and it can be more precisely aligned or correlated with anatomic images taken by CT scanning.
After that, two- and three-dimensional image reconstructions can be achieved.
The machine, which was launched last March 8, is said to be 25 times more sensitive than other PET/CT scanners in the country. Although there are other PET/CT scanners around, it’s the only model of its kind available, for now.
According to Dr. Glen Sy, who is the nuclear medicine and clinical application specialist for GE Healthcare, the images produced are very clear once they use a reconstruction algorithm, known a Q.Clear.
Sy said that they made an effort to eliminate background noise in the images that the scanners produce.
He explains that a lot of image noise is produced once they start magnifying the images obtained.
Image noise, in layman’s terms, is random variations of brightness or color information in images that can be produced by the sensor and circuitry of a scanner or a digital camera. It makes the picture look grainy.
“We have a very quantitative analysis (on the images). But, still our images become bad. Now, we were able to come with a better way to take of the noise,” said Sy.
This is where they use the reconstruction algorithm known as Q.Clear. Through the patented Q.Clear system, medical personnel are able to use more iterations, or mathematical calculations that is required for accurate contrast recovery of images.
With these advances in the technology, doctors at Cardinals Santos Medical Center now have a big help when they monitor the development of tumors inside a person’s body.
“With Q.Clear, it increases the sensitivity of the images taken with iterations used,” said consultant Dr. Christine Joy-Lee Gruenberg.
The installation of the new scanner, according to president and CEO Pilar Almira, will help the institution focus on their mission to help cancer patients and find the treatment needed for them.
“We are now 100 percent able to provide treatment and healing,” said Dr. Almira, who added that the institution can now consider themselves the leaders in the treatment of cancer in the Philippines.