New imaging service to boost oncology care

Epworth Medical Imaging staff reading xray results

A new positron emission tomography-computed tomography service (better known as PET-CT) that is scheduled to open at Epworth Freemasons next year will provide advanced diagnostic services for oncology patients.

The new equipment builds on the expansion of Epworth’s already comprehensive cancer services and will be housed next to the existing Epworth Medical Imaging facility in Clarendon Street.

Epworth Medical Imaging’s Director of Radiology, Associate Professor Pramit Phal, says that PET-CT has emerged as a powerful imaging tool for the detection and staging of various cancers.

“The new PET scanner is combined with a CT scanner and provides images that pinpoint the anatomical location of radiotracer injected to detect abnormal metabolic activity in the body,” A/Prof. Phal said.

“By identifying changes at the cellular level through the use of different PET radiotracers, we can detect early onset of disease, in particular cancer, much sooner. The combined scanner enables us to look at structural information provided by the CT scan alongside the PET’s functional information and to provide a much more accurate test.”

The $4.5 million project, including building works, equipment and fit-out, was partly funded by the Epworth Medical Foundation.

The new PET-CT service will be operational by March 2020.