Scanner brings hope in cancer fight

THERE is more chance of detecting even the smallest tumour thanks to a new scanner at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Garscube Estate, Bearsden.

Cancer patients at the centre are set to benefit from the new £2 million state-of-the-art Positron Emission Tomography (PET) machine.

It boasts a number of advanced functions that are being implemented in the UK for the first time.

Associate medical director for diagnostics Rachel Green, explained: “This scanner really is at the forefront of technological development.

It is a powerful means of detecting cancers at an early stage so we improve diagnosis and improve outcomes for more patients.

“Many studies have demonstrated that it provides superior results when compared to the more traditional techniques of CT or MRI.”

Complex

PET scans are obtained by imaging a tracer amount of a radioactive sugar that is administered to the patient.

Medical experts say cancerous tissue can be seen on the scans because the cells take up and retain sugar to a greater extent than normal cells.

The scanner also has complex motion detection and analysis features which enable production of moving images.

Dr Green added: “Motion detection can be important for lung tumours, for example, because lungs move when the patient breathes.

“It will also be useful when scanning children who can find it difficult to lie still for a period of time.

“It is also an extremely powerful tool for performing research work with a view to increasing our understanding of cancer and other diseases.

“We’ll be taking forward a variety of research programmes in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.”