Advanced Positron Emission Tomography System Dedicated to Breast Cancer Imaging
Nearly all available clinical PET systems are whole body imaging systems and not effective for detecting early signs of cancer due to factors such as a large-diameter/low photon sensitivity geometry, inadequate spatial and contrast resolutions for detecting small lesions from background, relatively high cost, and long scan times. An example of this inadequacy is in breast cancer management where PET currently plays relatively little role at all. To address these issues we are developing an advanced, high performance, breast-dedicated PET system. The camera is constructed from advanced 511 keV photon detectors that employ new scintillation light detection concepts that are described in another section. This camera will work in conjunction with existing and new, more specific breast cancer molecular probes also under development at Stanford. If successful, these advances will enable PET to play a more significant role in breast cancer management by enhancing the visualization and quantification of a fewer number of cancer cells.