A PET-CT examination is based on a venously administered radioactive tracer that is taken up by sites that have more active metabolism – for example, cancer cells. The radiopharmaceutical used is always selected in a case-specific manner. The radioisotopes most commonly used in cancer treatments are those of samarium, iodine, rhenium, lutetium and yttrium. The most common tracer in the imaging of cancer is fluorodeoxyglucose, 18F-FDG. The attending doctor together with the Chief Physician of Molecular Radiotherapy & Nuclear Medicine will determine the tracer that is optimal in any given situation.
Tracers available at Docrates Cancer Center
At Docrates, a number of different tracers are used, each of which has its own purpose of use or indication. From this selection, the treating team is able to select the most optimal tracer for each case, which will then be used in the examinations. For example, flurocholine (FCH) is used for charting the overall staging of prostate cancer, and sodium fluoride (NaF) is an excellent tracer for examining tumor staging to the bones. We also have available the gallium or Ga68 octreotide (Ga-68-DOTA-NOc) used for the examination of rare endocrinological cancers and carcinoid tumors in the intestinal area. In addition to prostate cancer, the focus area in tracer diagnostics at Docrates is gynaecological cancers, particularly breast cancer.
MAP Medical Technologies operates in the same building as Docrates Cancer Center. It has a cyclotron for the manufacture of radionuclide tracers and a GMP-level laboratory. There are only a handful of cancer hospitals in the world that can so optimally take advantage of the location of a cyclotron and imaging equipment (PET-CT, SPECT-CT) under the same roof.