100 world experts in PET imaging in Toulouse

100 world experts in PET imaging in Toulouse

100 world experts in PET imaging in Toulouse The IUCT Oncopole will welcome world experts in nuclear imaging on April 1 and 2, 2015, in partnership with General Electric Healthcare. The teams in Toulouse are recognized experts in this technology : in September 2014, the Institute was the first center in the world to evaluate and then use the latest PET camera developed  &by the equipment manufacturer R&D team.


Progress in nuclear imaging is gradually making  the PET scan  a major tool for  personalized medicine in oncology. Latest-generation devices such as the Discovery IQ  should improve the accuracy of tests and diagnoses. Their performance should make them an essential tool in early clinical research for both clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Because of their increased sensitivity, they can be used to evaluate  the efficacy of new oncology  drugs at an earlier stage. " Tracers are being developed today that are capable of binding to a drug molecule and making it visible by PET scan", says  Professor Frederic Courbon, director of IUCT-Oncopole imaging department.  Upon injection, its route through the body will be able to be followed in real time to see if it  heads for cancer cells.  If not, the treatment can be stopped or adjusted. " . According to Professor Courbon," this is a valuable time-saver for the patient, clinical research and industrialists. Drug candidates in the clinical research phase can thus be eliminated   as soon as possible based particularly on the functional capabilities of medical imaging  ."

PET scan technology  is less invasive and more predictive and provides information  which complements the clinical examination and the patient's laboratory results. The latest and faster devices can reduce test time by 50%, and also the tracer dose injected into the patient.

April 1 and 2 provided an opportunity to share good clinical practices and to reflect on the development of multicenter studies  in oncology, and also in neurology, cardiology or   infectious diseases. Research on new radiotracers was the subject of a specific session. 


To develop this work ,  a site must have a continuum that includes:  : 

  • high- technology experimental platforms  ;
  • industrialists who manufacture tracers  ;
  • basic and translational research teams  ;
  • clinical research services (approved to develop early tests) with a data management center;  ;
  • chemists,  radiopharmacists, physicists  ;
  • a nuclear pharmacy for clinical trials.


One of the special features of the Oncopole  campus is that it groups together all these skills and platforms.



What is the role of the   PET scan in Oncology ?

The PET scan, widely used for diagnosis and monitoring of cancer tumors, combines two technologies : anatomical imaging by the scanner and functional or metabolic imaging by PET which displays various activities of cellular metabolism depending on the molecule injected beforehand (tracer). Tracers can bind to tumor cells and make them visible on PET scan images, and also bind to a drug molecule to track its distribution in the body.  The enormous advances in molecular and cellular biology  will greatly facilitate the discovery of new tracers.