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The PET/CT scan, which is offered exclusively and for the first time in the Republic of Cyprus, is a combination of Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which enables us to receive high quality and accurate images.
PET/CT is an imaging technic that combines the anatomical information coming from computed tomography (CT) with the metabolic activity of the imaged tissues and organs coming from positron emission tomography (PET). This nuclear medicine imaging method applies to Oncology, Cardiology and Neurology.
Different radiopharmaceuticals can be used according to the clinical question for each patient. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances able to be bound to specific organs or other tissues and molecules and they are used in nuclear medicine as radiotracers for the imaging and therapy of the patients.
The radiopharmaceuticals used for PET scan have no allergies, neither side effects and they are considered safe due to the low administered dose.
18F is the isotope used for all PET examinations. It has short half-life (110 min) and it decays rapidly, so there is no detectable radioactivity in the body some hours later and there is no need of special protection after the end of the exam.
According to the clinical question, different radiopharmaceuticals can be used for each patient:
18F-FDG (radiolabelled glucose, malignancies with increased glucose metabolism)
18F-PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen)
18F-NaF (osseous metabolism, bone metastases)
18F-FET/18F-FLT (brain tumours)
18F-FMISO (hypoxia marker)
18F-FDOPA (presynaptic dopaminergic function and neuroendocrine
18F-FES (oestrogen receptors for breast cancer)
18F- Sifalin-TATE (somatostatin receptors in neuroendocrine tumours (research))
18F-FDG (radioactive glucose) is administered intravenously following the metabolic pathway of the glucose in the tissues and organs of the body. Most of cancer cells use increased quantity of glucose and they consume for their needs of high proliferation. The increased metabolic rate of the malignant cells in comparison to that of the normal tissues enables their detection via PET/CT imaging.
The radiotracer that is administered intravenously for this exam is radioactive sodium fluoride. This imaging method provides information concerning the metabolic activity of the osseous tissue offering higher diagnostic sensitivity in comparison to the classic bone scintigraphy.
PSMA-PET/CT is considered the most specific exam for prostatic cancer staging. Radioactive PSMA is intravenously administered and it is received by specific cells of the membrane of cancerous cells of the prostate and prostatic malignancy metastases. Whole-body images are obtained by PET camera. This exam offers additionally the diagnosis of local relapse and metastases in early stage enabling personalised therapeutic approach for each patient.
Central nervous system tumours can be visualised after intravenous injection of 18F-FET or 18F-FLT leading to the visualisation of increase aminoacid uptake. Aminoacids are the structural elements of proteins that are increasingly used by brain tumours. According to international literature, 18F-FET- or 18F-FLT-PET/CT has important contribution to characterisation of the type of the tumour, its extent and to therapeutic planning. Additionally, this method is reliable in differential diagnosis between residual disease and post-interventional changes, as well as in relapse detection.
18F-DOPA (18F-deoxy-L-dihydrophenylalanine) is intravenously administered for this exam which is very sensitive for detection of different neuroendocrine tumours. This imaging technic offers useful information on staging, restaging and follow-up of the patients. Additionally, concerning non-oncologic patients, this exam can contribute to diagnosis of disorders of idiopathic Parkinson disease
18F-FMISO is the radiopharmaceutical used for this exam providing information concerning the inadequately vascularised regions in the extent of a tumour. This is an important information about radiation planning because the hypovascularized component need higher radiation dose.
For this examination you will be administrated (intravenously) with the radiotracer 18F-FES (16α-[18F] fluoro-17β-oestradiol). This radioactive substance enables measurement of regional oestrogen binding in breast cancer sides. This information cannot be obtained by classic imaging with the use of radiological methods. Additionally, the 18F-FES PET/CT is a diagnostic non-invasive tool for the achievement of the above-mentioned goal that determines the therapeutic strategy for the patient especially if a biopsy of the primary or metastatic tumour is not feasible.
18F-Sifalin-TATE is currently used on a research basis as a very sensitive tool for the detection of various neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and meningiomas as it reflects somatostatin receptors. This imaging method provides useful information on the initial staging, re-assessment monitoring of patients.
The Ward consists of five spacious and comfortable single rooms, each one of which has access to a radioactive-protected garden. This means that patients do not need to be confined to their rooms and can get some fresh air, enjoy a brief walk in the yard, and socialize with other patients. Here, we offer treatments for benign and malignant thyroid diseases with radioactive iodine, including high-dose treatments to patients with distant metastases. We also carry out treatments with radioactive radium (Xofigo®), administered for bone metastases to patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer. The combination of diagnosis and treatment is the basis of the innovative Theragnostics approach provided by our Department.
The GOC is one of the very few Cancer Centers worldwide which offers pioneering treatments with radioactive lutetium for neuroendocrine tumors (177Lu-DOTATATE), and also for the treatment of metastases for castration resistant prostate cancer (177Lu-PSMA).