Prostate cancer is the most common disease in men and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Generic large imaging instruments used in cancer diagnosis have sensitivity, spatial resolution, and contrast which are inadequate for the task of imaging details of a small organ such as the prostate. In addition, multimodality imaging can play a significant role in merging anatomical and functional details coming from simultaneous PET and MRI. Indeed, multiparametric PET/MRI was demonstrated to improve diagnosis, but it suffers from too many false positives. In order to address the above limits of the current techniques, we have proposed, built and tested, thanks to the TOPEM project funded by Italian National Institute of Nuclear Phisics, a prototype of an endorectal PET-TOF/MRI probe. In the applied magnification PET geometry, performance is dominated by a high-resolution detector placed closer to the source. The expected spatial resolution in the selected geometry is about 1.5mm FWHM and efficiency of a factor 2 with respect to what was obtained with the conventional PET scanner. In our experimental studies, we have obtained a timing resolution of ∼ 320 ps FWHM and at the same time a Depth of Interaction (DOI) resolution of under 1mm. Tests also showed that mutual adverse PET-MR effects are minimal. In addition, the matching endorectal RF coil was designed, built and tested. In the next planned studies, we expect that benefiting from the further progress in scintillator crystal surface treatment, in SiPM technology and associated electronics would allow us to significantly improve TOF resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)