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