Celebratory ribbon-cutting event for the introduction of a new PET/CT imaging...
In a great event with the presence of The Undersecretary For International Cooperation Tripodi, The President Of The Regional Council Of Lazio Aurigemma and the online intervention of Minister Schillaci, the uExplorer, one of the world's most advanced diagnostic systems, has now been introduced in rome: Worldwide, less than ten of these devices are currently installed.

Image source: United Imaging

Sponsored • Diagnostic imaging in Rome

Brand-new nuclear medicine department equipped with advanced Total-Body PET/CT system

Great event with the presence of The Undersecretary For International Cooperation Tripodi, The President Of The Regional Council Of Lazio Aurigemma and the online intervention of Minister Schillaci. The world's most advanced diagnostic system also in rome: less than ten devices currently installed

The new Nuclear Medicine Department of the San Pietro Fatebenefratelli Hospital was now inaugurated in Rome. The Department was inaugurated with the online intervention of Health Minister Orazio Schillaci and in the presence of Maria Tripodi (Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), and Antonello Aurigemma (President of Lazio Regional Council). 

The department aims to target the most advanced devices and now it includes the new uExplorer Total-Body PET/CT from United Imaging Healthcare. This device is currently present in less than ten advanced diagnostic centres worldwide and is capable of studying the entire human body in a single scan, representing a significant advancement in diagnostic imaging.

What are the innovative advantages that this equipment makes available to patients and specialists at the Fatebenefratelli?

PierCarlo Gentile (Director of the Centre for Highly Specialised Radiotherapy at the San Pietro Fatebenefratelli Hospital) responds: "We are particularly pleased with the start-up of the activities of the new Department, in which the uExplorer system stands out, equipment that will change the approach of doctors and patients to diagnostic imaging. The benefits of such technology for patients are numerous, with one of the most notable being the reduced exposure to radiopharmaceuticals. This innovative technology employs a detector ring with a scintillator crystal of exceptional sensitivity and an extension of 194 cm, enabling highly accurate diagnostic responses and significantly reducing the number of 'fakes' produced by other PET scans currently in use One of the key advantages of the device is its high level of efficiency, with an examination time of just two minutes for a comprehensive 'total body' scan. This not only enhances patient compliance but also has the potential to reduce waiting lists, which remains a significant challenge in this field of diagnostics. "The demand for morphological-functional diagnostic investigations using PET/CT is now significantly higher than in the past, as it has become an integral part of the diagnostic and therapeutic pathway for the majority of cancer patients," Gentile states. "This PET scan is also highly sensitive, which ensures that patients receive not only more precise diagnoses, but also potentially earlier diagnoses. It is capable of detecting very small lesions that other traditional PET scans are not yet able to observe." 

This precise detection of infection sites and evaluation of viral load mark a significant breakthrough in Aids treatment. We look forward that the system will empower medical professionals in Italy in groundbreaking clinical studies, too

Jusong Xia

This, in conjunction with the 160-layer CT scan of the uExplorer, which is capable of providing images of high morphological quality, represents a significant diagnostic advantage with the potential to facilitate earlier treatment. A key feature of this revolutionary technology, which will prove invaluable in the pursuit of increasingly precise 'millimetric' treatments, is the simultaneous acquisition of images in the CT and PET studies. 

Gentile continues: "In modern radiotherapy, precision is one of the key aspects. Being precise allows us to increase the dose to be targeted on the tumour with better outcomes on patient care, without risking damage to surrounding organs. The quality of the PET images will allow us to better study the heterogenicity of neoplastic lesions and therefore offer us the opportunity to further refine our treatment plans, diversifying the dose within the same tumour target, hitting the most aggressive areas with greater force. This will enable us to identify which areas of the disease are the most active and to target them with more intense doses." 

The installation of uExplorer, a device developed at the University of California-Davis and manufactured by the multinational United Imaging Healthcare, was made possible by a collaboration between Ospedale Fatebenefratelli, FORA (exclusive distributor for Italy of the device and Italian leader in diagnostics) and United Imaging itself. The latter was represented in Rome by the President and CEO of United Imaging Healthcare's International Division, Dr Jusong Xia. "To us, this means good opportunities of collaboration,” he stated. “The technologies to which we are committed, including PET/CT, PET/MR, MRI, and CT scans, play a pivotal role in gaining insights into the complexities of critical illnesses. In 2019, UC Davis partnered with us to conduct total-body immune PET imaging on Aids patients undergoing 'cocktail' therapy. Using our Total-body PET/CT uExplorer and a new tracer of monoclonal antibodies targeting HIV, researchers hunted for hidden HIV viruses in the body. This precise detection of infection sites and evaluation of viral load mark a significant breakthrough in Aids treatment. We look forward that the system will empower medical professionals in Italy in groundbreaking clinical studies, too.”

The start of the activities was made possible by the strong initiative of United Imaging’s 'Italian partner': how does FORA comment on this day in which a total body of advanced conception distributed by the company is made available to the citizens and patients of Rome and central Italy? Carlo Degano, CEO of the Parma-based company, replies: "Today, we are discussing molecular imaging, particularly a unique modality developed by United Imaging. It is more sensitive than the best product on the market and capable of performing dynamic studies of the whole body using a significantly reduced dosage of radiopharmaceuticals. Representing such a state-of-the-art industrial partner is the highest expectation of any representative company and user centre. At Fatebenefratelli San Pietro, we were fortunate to meet an enlightened user, administration and region that believed in, and actively promoted, the primacy of this diagnostic revolution. With these assumptions in mind, we made the investment ourselves to make this dream a reality. 

"It was not easy to reach this goal," continues Fora's president, "but we were able to overcome the challenges and deliver on this promising proposal. We will provide patients with the best there is in the world and actively support research. This will benefit patients in Rome and Central Italy, and it will support an international role for Rome and Lazio. We are proud to be part of this historic moment where Italy is leading the way in Europe. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our curiosity and seriousness, and to take on an important role in shaping the future. We will continue to develop our skills, attention to detail, humility and common sense to ensure we remain at the forefront of this sector."

How does this new installation fit into the history and evolution of the market for Fora, a company that has been active in diagnostics and imaging since 1974?

"Over the course of our 50-year history, we have had to adapt and evolve on a daily basis," Degano explains. "Our creativity has allowed us to anticipate and address the evolving needs of the sector, consistently proposing innovative solutions that enhance the standard of care.

"We have demonstrated through our applied projects that the public good represented by healthcare is economically sustainable and usable for the entire community, which makes it clear that we are a partner in the public administration. Our primary objective is to demonstrate how global technological competition between systems can be effectively managed at the Italian level. This will enable political decision-makers to fulfil their role of selecting the best options for patients and organisations at a sustainable cost. Guided by this vision, in 2021 we aligned with the values of United Imaging Healthcare, a leading international diagnostics company, and found full alignment in supporting the goal of equitable healthcare by bridging the gap between diagnosis and therapy. Our strategic agreement, supported by an exclusive distribution contract, demonstrates a close understanding between our companies."

And what about the future?

Carlo Degano's conclusion points towards new developments and areas of collaboration: 'The strategic partnership between Fora and United Imaging Healthcare aims to facilitate access in our country to the cutting-edge technologies that our international partner is developing and producing in radiology, including the 5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging for clinical use, in radiotherapy with the Linear Accelerator with Integrated CT, and beyond imaging with surgery, robotics and artificial intelligence.” 


Source: United Imaging

04.07.2024

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