In 2008 Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Cancer Research UK, Addenbrooke's and the University of Cambridge BRC opened a PET/CT scanning department - one of only a handful in the UK, and the first in the East of England.
PET/CT technology uses two different techniques - Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography and combines the results to produce detailed three-dimensional images of what is happening inside a patient's body. The combination allows both the structure and function of diseased areas to be studied.
"We use PET/CT to improve our management of a wide range of illnesses", says Professor David Lomas, from Cambridge BRC's Imaging theme. "For example, in patients with certain types of cancer we can find small tumours deep inside the body that may not be easily detected using other imaging techniques. That can help us to tailor treatment to the individual patient at the time of diagnosis - and we can use further PET/CT studies to show how well it is working or if a tumour has recurred.
"This facility complements the range of sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic imaging techniques and services we offer."
Addenbrooke's provides a central site on which to accommodate the PET/CT department which is also used by the campus's wider research programmes.
The scanner itself is the GE Discovery TM 690 PET/CT system which is a 64 slice PET/CT scanner with time-of-flight technology.
The PET-CT relies on close collaboration with the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre Radiochemistry Department for the supply of Radiopharmaceuticals for research purposes. This allows the use of a wide range of specialised Radiopharmaceuticals which have to be produced locally, including 15O and 11C agents.
Cambridge BRC promotes innovation and excellence by supporting all aspects of translational methodologies and expertise.
This includes the development of a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging Core Facility, based in an extension to the Cambridge University Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre.
The MRI Core is equipped with a Siemens 3-T MRI scanner - a benchmark in MRI that provides a range of capabilities for head-to-toe imaging of the entire body. BRC support also helps to fund two dedicated staff; a radiographer and a medical physicist.
Key contacts are Alison Sheigl and Adrian Carpenter: 01223 331823