Advances in PET and multimodality imaging. With emphasis on cancer of the head and neck and liver metastases from colorectal cancer.
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RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 19 november 2007
Promotores : Oyen, W.J.G., Kaanders, J.H.A.M., Corstens, F.H.M. Co-promotor : Dalen, J.A. van
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SubjectUMCN 1.1: Functional Imaging
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a relatively new medical imaging modality for visualization of radioactive labeled molecules in vivo. This imaging technique allows non-invasive and quantitative visualization of cellular and tissue characteristics, and is increasingly used for the detection, staging and follow-up of malignant diseases. In the most recent years, integration with anatomical imaging modalities, such as computed tomography (CT), has become technically feasible. Many diagnostic centers have acquired an integrated PET/CT scanner for clinical application. Despite the recent enthousiastic growth, functional imaging with PET, either stand-alone or integrated with CT, is not a mature technique. Several issues still play a role with respect to image quality, image fusion, and clinical indications. In the presented research these issues are subjected to analysis and optimization, applied to specific applications in the fields of cancer in the head and neck, and liver metastases from colorectal cancer. Several imaging and processing procedures have been optimized, and clinical applications have been validated. Some issues still remain, such as the relatively limited spatial resolution of PET, and non-straightforward image fusion with CT. It is concluded that these factors require further optimization. Meanwhile, awareness and understanding of the potential and remaining issues can help in achieving optimal clinical value. Further implementation in consensus protocols is mandatory, to reduce regional differences, and to facilitate comparative multi-center investigations.
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