Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Unlike an X-ray, which uses radiation to scan a body, nuclear medicine uses radiation from a person’s body to detect things on a microscopic level, giving providers detailed pictures of what’s happening at the molecular and cellular level.
Patients take a tracer by mouth or intravenously that sends small doses of radiation. Depending on the scan, cancer might absorb more or less of the tracer than normal tissues, revealing a tumor as a “hot spot” (increased cell activity) or a “cold spot” (less cell activity).
PET-CT scans are often used to diagnose cancer, pinpoint tumors, plan treatment or see how well treatment is working.
Our areas of focus include:
- PET-CT and other scans for lesion detection of neuroendocrine tumors
- Multi-Gated Acquisition (MUGA) scans to evaluate the left and right ventricles of the heart
- Noninvasive images of neuroendocrine and other tumors expressing somatostatin receptors
- Protascint scans to detect if prostate cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, adjacent tissue or bone
- Xofigo (Ra 223 dichloride) injections to treat prostate cancer resistant to medical or surgical treatments
- Skeletal Scintigraphy or bone scans to detect the spread of metastatic cancer
- Thyroid scans using Iodine-123 or Iodine-111 for the evaluation of thyroid cancers
- Zevalin regimen to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Patricia Aoun, M.D., M.P.H., is the CLIA Laboratory director, chief of the Division of Clinical Pathology and a hematopathologist in the Department of Pathology at City of Hope.
Milhan Telatar, Ph.D., is director of the Clinical Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, an associate clinical professor in the Division of Molecular Pathology and Therapy Biomarkers and a clinical molecular geneticist in the Department of Pathology.