A PET-CT scanner is a sophisticated diagnostic tool that helps doctors make accurate diagnoses of tumors, including lung, colorectal and breast cancer as well as lymphomas and melanomas.
Jersey City Medical Center – RWJBarnabas recently acquired a PET-CT scanner as part of its comprehensive efforts to enhance cancer treatment at the hospital and bring the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to Hudson County.
“The PET-CT scan is part of a piece in master plan to add to our oncology services in Hudson County,” said Chief Operating Officer Carla Hollis. “We have medical oncology, we have radiation oncology, we have surgical oncology specialists and we’re building a beautiful 8,000 square foot infusion center. The PET-CT scanner is one of the final pieces to provide JCMC this type of sophisticated imaging for our patients. It will make such a difference in how we treat patients.”
Previously, patients would have to travel to other facilities for a PET-CT scan, said Dr. Adam Brandeberry, the director of the Outpatient Imaging Center at JCMC and a nuclear medicine specialist.
A PET-CT scan is a combination of two types of images. PET (or Positron Emission Tomography) capitalizes on the fact that tumors need more sugar than normal cells to grow. Patients are injected with a small amount of radioactive material that is similar to a glucose molecule. If any tumors are present, the scan shows increased uptake of the radioactive material.
Once a tumor is located, a CT (or Computed Tomography) scan can create a detailed image of the tumor and its location in relationship to other nearby organs.
“The risk of the small amount of radiation is low, especially when compared to the benefits of having the scan,” said Dr. Brandeberry, who completed his fellowship in nuclear medicine at the Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center and breast imaging fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine,
Dr. Faye Yin, a hematologist and medical oncologist at Jersey City Medical Center, said the management of cancer includes many aspects of treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
“Proper management of cancer requires accurate diagnosis and evaluation of the spread of tumor, which can be provided by the new PET-CT scanner,” Dr. Yin said. “PET scanning has been proven to be critical in many cancers and can lead to a significant change in the management a patient’s care. We are extremely excited about this new technology for our community.”