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Nuclear physics promises earlier detection of brain tumors with just 1 scan
Date:3/3/2010

s one hundred times more sensitive than existing clinical SPECT systems. This increased sensitivity offers two benefits- either the dose of radiation administered to the patient could be reduced or alternatively more patients could be scanned by one machine in a day if the current dose is used.

These new cutting edge detector systems, designed by the University of Liverpool's Nuclear Physics research group alongside the Nuclear Physics Group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, are a direct spin out of AGATA (Advanced Gamma Tracking Array), a nuclear physics research and development project with the aim of building the next generation gamma-ray spectrometer. ProSPECTus is funded from STFC's Particle and Nuclear Physics Applied Systems (PNPAS) programme, a scheme aimed at exploiting techniques developed in blue-skies basic research projects like AGATA so as to generate knowledge exchange into the areas of health, security and energy applications.

Dr Andy Boston, the project spokesperson, at the University of Liverpool said: "Not only is ProSPECTus' technology a hundred times more sensitive than that of the traditional Compton camera, it is unique in that it will also be possible to operate it simultaneously with MRI (Magnetic resonance Imaging), which has never been an option due to the MRI's strong magnetic field. In fact, it will be possible to fit this SPECT system retrospectively to the 350 or so existing MRI scanners across the UK. For patients this means fewer appointments, earlier and more effective diagnosis of tumours, which means higher probability of effective treatment. The higher sensitivity camera also offers the scope for shorter imaging time and lower doses of radiation, which is highly beneficial for patients who require frequent scanning. For clinicians, this means that more patients can be seen in a day. This is a truly collaborative effort between the Nuclear Physics Groups both at the University of Liverpool and STFC Daresbury Laborator
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Contact: Wendy Taylor
wendy.taylor@stfc.ac.uk
44-192-560-3232
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Source:Eurekalert

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