Implementing a PETCT RTP service: Our experience

Author(s): Gerry Lowe, Gwen Benyon, Bal Sanghera

Hospital: Paul Strickland Scanner Centre, Mount Vernon Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 511, 23-24


F-18 FDG PETCT plays an important role in disease staging, evaluating treatment response and detecting recurrence in oncology. In addition, combined anatomic and functional imaging offered by PETCT has potential in optimising radiotherapy treatment planning (RTP) in a range of cancers. Possible molecular imaging advantages include reduced inter-observer variation in gross tumour volume (GTV) delineation, smaller GTV, improved lesion/greater lymph node detection and more accurately defining regions suitable for radiation dose boost. However, there is debate over how best to implement PETCT in RTP. It sounds simple in theory: Do a PETCT scan in the treatment position, integrate scan data into the RTP system and plan treatment. But in reality this is a complex process.

This article describes our centre’s recent experience when we set up a limited PETCT RTP service. To simplify matters we have subdivided the complexity of service into various processes, for example regulatory compliance, staff, equipment, protocol, QA, data transfer and TPS. We don’t profess to be experts, far from it, but hope that this article may be of some assistance to those considering PETCT for RTP.

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