Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

New 3D image scanner for hospital

Computed Tomography
A patient uses the new scanner at the hospital

A scanner at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital, which gives three dimensional images of the body, is being used for the first time in the East.

Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) techniques will be combined to produce 3D images from inside a patient's body.

The hospital said it means its scanning department could improve diagnosis's of a range of illnesses.

The PET-CT scanning department is one of only a handful in the UK.

It will cater for patients from a range of specialities, including oncology, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, metabolic science and infectious diseases.

Forefront of research

Professor David Lomas, from the hospital's department of radiology, said: "We can use PET-CT to improve our management of a wide range of illnesses.

"For example, in patients with certain types of cancer we can find small tumours deep inside the body that may not be easily detected using other imaging techniques.

"We can use further PET-CT studies to show how well it is working or if a tumour has recurred."

The department was opened after collaboration between Addenbrooke's, the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Cancer Research UK and the University of Cambridge.

Dr David Tuveson, from Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute, said: "This equipment will enable us to remain at the forefront of research efforts on some of the hardest-to-treat cancers."

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