A new Diagnosis
At the Radiology Center, the imaging diagnostic partner of the WPK Cancer Center we combine two distinct medical specialities of our oncological patients: Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
Nuclear medicine and Radiology are complementary in their ability to detect and follow up cancer:
With nuclear medicine we observe metabolic changes (e.g. the amount of sugar eaten by cancer cells) and with radiology we see morphology (e.g. place of tumor growth).
PET/CT or SPECT/CT are so called hybrid imaging machines that combine both metabolic and morphologic methods for optimal cancer imaging. Concerning the part of nuclear medicine the important decision is that of the most suitable tracer to give the right answer to the oncologists question.
One of the most common oncologic PET Tracers is FDG (Fluordeoxyglucose). FDG is applied to examine glucose metabolism, which is increased in most cancer cells. The FDG uptake after or during chemotherapy may have a high prognostic value, and can so be used to optimize the treatment for each individual. For example in lymphoma patients FDG uptake may help deciding whether Radiotherapy is needed after Chemotherapy.
The concept of hybrid imaging in hematooncology holds true also for many other conditions, like prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreas cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and many more with imaging tools including SPECT/CT, MRI or PET/CT with specific tracers apart from FDG like PSMA.
All hybrid examinations (PET/CT or SPECT/CT) make use of fully diagnostic, high resolution computed tomography images, if indicated we apply iodine contrast media. I report these data in consensus with my radiologists Doz. Peloschek and Doz. Sailer.
Being a specialist in nuclear medicine I also take care of thyroid cancer patients. I am well experienced in diagnosis and follow up of patients with nodular goiter to discriminate typical benign conditions from nodules with malignent character. After fine needle aspiriation I arrange thyroid surgery, performed by one of WPKs specialized surgeons. The life long follow up with all necessary examinations including Sonography, rhTSH-Stimulation Test, Iodine Whole body Scan with SPECT/CT, laboratory tests and PET/CT will of course be provided routinely. As I am board member of the EANM Thyroid Committee I am involved in new guideline decisions concerning Thyroid disorders including thyroid cancer.
Univ.-Doz. Dr. Martha HOFFMANN
Link to Radiology Center
What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that uses just very small amounts of radioactive material in order to diagnose precisely and treat a variety of diseases. These diseases include cancer, heart disease, and neurological conditions. As a unique field, that combines the use of radioactive isotopes with traditional medical imaging techniques, such as CT and MRI, nuclear medicine is used to produce detailed images of the body’s organs.
At the Radiology Center of the Wiener Privatklinik, our highly trained nuclear medicine specialists use state-of-the-art equipment to provide patients with the highest quality care possible. Equipped with a range of nuclear medicine scanners, including single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, as well as a cyclotron for producing radioactive isotopes on-site, our center has access to the most modern equipment and technology in the field.
One of the primary uses of nuclear medicine is in the diagnosis and staging of cancer. By injecting a small amount of a radioactive tracer into the patient’s bloodstream, we can produce detailed images of the body’s tissues and organs. This helps and makes it possible to identify the presence and location of cancerous tumors. Additionally it can be especially useful in the early detection of cancer.