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In nuclear medicine, scanners get more sensitive, software more specific

Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | June 17, 2019
Molecular Imaging
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


The scanner cuts down on imaging time — scanning 2 meters in 15 to 30 seconds, compared to 10 to 20 minutes for conventional PET scanners — improving image quality with reduced need for multiple breath holds.

Jeffrey M. Bundy, Ph.D., chief executive officer of UIH Solutions North America, said that first customers of the scanner are looking to enable shorter scan times and eliminate the need for sedation in pediatric patients.

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Studies published in the March issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine showed that the scanner can detect earlier-stage cancers, and Bundy said there is interest in promising applications for theranostics for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

“The uEXPLORER allows you to ask questions you weren’t able to ask before,” said Bundy. “There is lot of interest around new tracers that have shorter half-lives, and bringing PET to new fields of discovery. We’re very excited to get these systems into the hands of physicians who can begin asking those questions.”

The uEXPLORER is the product of work between UIH and the EXPLORER Consortium, run by Drs. Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi from the University of California, Davis, and is part of the company’s full digital portfolio of four PET systems, including two additional PET/CT scanners and an MR/PET.

Software

MIM Software
In June 2018, the company received FDA clearance for SPECTRA Quant, a SPECT reconstruction tool.

It is part of the MIM Encore product, which has two parts. SPECTRA Recon provides SPECT and CT reconstruction, while SPECTRA Quant takes the image and converts that into activity concentration. The software is vendor-neutral in terms of the scanner.

“Really, the main way that a customer could get quantitative SPECT [is that they] would have to purchase a new camera,” said Aaron Nelson, chief medical officer for MIM Software. “This would do it for all cameras and there is the consistency standpoint of doing it on all images.”

The MIM Encore package lets clinicians add the numbers of the tracer uptake to the image.

“Before, lesions looked brighter than before,” Nelson said. "Now, you can put a number to the tracer uptake. It’s more useful for tracking response to therapy. You can directly compare two images where before [it] was a relative measure.”

Segami Corporation, U.S.A.
The molecular imaging software company is in the process of developing a new neurology processing application. Called CERQUANT, it is based on quantification that is registered to the Montreal Neurological Institute template for region analysis, geometric normalization and absolute quantification.

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