New digital PET/CT scanner installed

We are pleased to have achieved our fundraising target of £303,000 to be able to install a new, state-of-the-art digital PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography / Computerised Tomography) scanner at our Imaging Centre in Cheltenham at a cost of £2m.

Cobalt provides the NHS PET/CT service for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and this new digital scanner, one of only three in the UK, will enable Cobalt to provide very high quality images with shorter scan times. As the demand for PET/CT scans continues to increase, the new scanner will provide more capacity to ensure that patients are seen quickly and can receive an earlier diagnosis.

Roisin Dobbin-Stacey, Head of CT and PET/CT, said ‘The new scanner gives us the ability to use the very latest technology, enhancing our ability to support a wider range of research into the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and dementia. We are so grateful for all the support we have been given to fund this new scanner’.

PET/CT scans combine the information from a PET scan and a CT scan into one single examination that helps doctors make an early diagnosis. The patient is given a small dose of a radioisotope, which usually contains glucose. Cancer cells are more metabolically active and may absorb glucose at a higher rate, these cells can therefore be identified on the scan. This helps in the diagnosis of cancer and dementia, but also in assessing how well the cancer treatment is working, i.e. radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The patient may return for a number of scans.

To accommodate the new scanner, the PET/CT department has had to be extended to include more patient ‘uptake rooms’. Once the patient has had an injection of the radioisotope, they relax for up to an hour in an uptake room. As radioisotopes are used, these rooms have lead lining on the walls and the ceilings. However, they are very comfortable rooms with an armchair, TV and radio to help the patient relax.

By donating to Cobalt’s equipment fund you can help the Charity to continue to provide the latest equipment improving outcomes for patients now and in the future.