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Insights Into Cancer: PET/CT Cancer Imaging--Cancers Eat a lot of Sugar
Date: 5/14/2013
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level Room B130
757 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, California 90095

SimmsMann CenterOnce a month, the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology presents Insights Into Cancer, a free public lecture series for cancer patients, their families and the community. Each lecture features a leading professional who provides up-to-date information, practical advice and answers to cancer-related questions. 

May 14, 2013
PET/CT Cancer Imaging: Cancers Eat a lot of Sugar

There are many different ways to detect and diagnose cancer. PET imaging is one way to accomplish this. For PET imaging, patients are injected with a small amount of a radioactively marked sugar which, once in the body, reach those organs and tissues that consume a lot of sugar. Tumors consume up to 30 times more sugar then normal tissue. Since the injected sugar is radioactive we can detect its location in the body with a scanner, the PET scanner. The scan then provides us with the following information.

Is it cancer? What organs are involved? Has the cancer spread? Did the treatment work?"

These are questions that the oncologist and the patient and family wonder and hope for reliable and valid answers. One decade ago work began that resulted in what is now called the clinical PET/CT and it is the most exciting and novel imaging tool in oncology today. This tool has dramatically changed how these important questions are addressed. At UCLA over 7000 patients have been studied with the new technology and there is a diagnostic advantage in about 15% of patients with cancer over the previous PET scan alone. As a result more than 2000 PET/CT scanners have been installed worldwide. This presentation helps patients and their family members to understand how imaging techniques are an integral part of comprehensive cancer care. PET/CT imaging plays a vital role in determining stage, and effectiveness of treatments and there is clinical evidence that it is superior to PET or CT alone. Several types of cancer will be used to illustrate how PET/CT is used in diseases such as breast, lung cancer and lymphoma and sarcoma.

Johannes Czernin, M.D., Professor, Vice Chairman Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Director of Nuclear Medicine at UCLA and Chief of the Ahmanson Biological Imaging Division at UCLA, received his degree from the University of Vienna, Austria Medical School. He began his work as a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA in 1989. Initially focusing on PET imaging of the heart, he turned his interest to cancer imaging with FDG-PET in 1997. He has established a large clinical research program addressing the usefulness of PET imaging for managing cancer patients.


Insights Into Cancer lectures are held in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level, Room B130, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

UCLA parking is $11 and is wheelchair accessible. Attendees can park in the medical plaza, or take advantage of the valet parking at the front of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.