Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics Laboratoire national canadien pour la recherche en physique nucléaire et en physique des particules

Canadian PET Survey by TRIUMF/AAPS

27 February 2012

Report finds substantial variation in---and opportunity for---uptake of new technology for clinical care of cancer

Cancer is a growing challenge to Canadians and an increasing burden on healthcare budgets. A ground-breaking report released today suggests that access to, and utilization of, leading-edge medical-imaging technology for the diagnosis, staging, and monitoring of cancer treatment varies widely from province to province, putting cancer patients in some areas at a distinct disadvantage.

The technology, called Positron Emission Tomography, is often coupled with Computerized Tomography (CT) and is known as PET/CT imaging. PET imaging is already widely used and integral to cancer care in most developed nations, and increased utilization of this technology could provide more clinically-effective and cost-effective treatment for cancer patients in Canada. A nationally coordinated strategy to take up this technology and standardize its use could bring Canada back to the forefront of global cancer care.

"The Use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for Cancer Care Across Canada: Time for a National Strategy" was prepared for TRIUMF and AAPS, Inc. by independent medical-research consultant and well-known writer, Susan D. Martinuk. According to Martinuk, "PET is revolutionizing clinical cancer care in the United States and Europe, yet many Canadian doctors and policy officials continue to see P