New PET/CT scanner unveiled today

Moncton, March 1, 2013 – The Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre today celebrated the official unveiling of the facility's new PET/CT (positron emission tomography) scanner, with a number of guests and dignitaries present.

The acquisition of this new ultramodern diagnostic imaging unit was made possible through a partnership between the Department of Health, Vitalité Health Network, and the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital Foundation. Thanks to this technology, nuclear medicine specialists will be able to diagnose early-stage cancers quickly, determine whether they have spread, assess how patients react to treatment, and perform more effective follow-up.

The Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital Foundation contributed $2.3 million for the purchase of the unit, with the Department of Health contributing $7 million for the design and construction costs.

"The Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital Foundation, through its Tree of Hope Campaign, is proud to have participated in the acquisition of a piece equipment of major importance to Vitalité Health Network, the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, and above all, to our patients," indicated Jacques B. LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital Foundation. "Thanks to the generosity of people who contribute to campaigns such as this one, the Foundation is able to support development projects at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre designed to enhance our patients' wellness and comfort."

The Honourable Hugh Flemming, Minister of Health, was in attendance to take part in the event.  “The PET-CT scanner is a state-of-the-art medical imaging device that has a huge impact on how we treat cancer in our province,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. “This new piece of equipment will benefit all New Brunswickers.”

"The acquisition of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging technology by the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre fits perfectly with this facility's provincial mandate in the areas of care delivery, training, and research," declared Rino Volpé, President and CEO of Vitalité Health Network.  “Above all, the key benefit of this new unit will be to provide cancer patients with improved access to specialized services.  This new unit offers our highly qualified specialists numerous benefits that will support our hospital as a centre of excellence in the treatment of cancer, with the Dr. Léon-Richard Oncology Centre.”

PET/CT units combine two cutting-edge diagnostic imaging technologies, namely positron emission tomography (PET) and computer-assisted tomography (CT), whose functionalities are complementary.

During a PET scan, a radioactive tracer (FDG) is injected and then accumulates in the patient's tissues that are experiencing greater cellular activity, such as cancer cells. These tissues in turn show up as "warm areas" on the PET image. The CT component accurately locates these tissues with great anatomical precision.  The two scans are performed as part of the same process.