L'imagerie moléculaire quantitative au service de la médecine personnalisée


Philippe Després

Université Laval


Domaine : cancer

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2016-2017

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) have become powerful imaging modalities used to investigate several biological processes, both for clinical and research purposes. These modalities provide functional information on structures, on top of anatomical information provided by other modalities such as CT and MRI. In other words, PET and SPECT can provide insightful clues on the metabolism of biological structures in addition to their anatomical aspect. However, PET and SPECT images are often interpreted by simple visual inspection in the clinic even if they bear more specific clues on the state of a particular structure, accessible if appropriate acquisition and analysis methods are used.

This research program, based on such quantitative methods, aims at using quantitative PET and SPECT to improve two aspects of a personalized medicine approach: disease caracterisation and treatment adaptation to each patient.  In prostate cancer, quantitative PET imaging might yield better diagnostics without resorting to invasive biopsies. It might also allow clinician to better target the disease during treament. In Nuclear Medicine, quantitative SPECT will be used to plan and optimise the dose of radio-pharmaceuticals injected in patient with neuroendocrine tumours, in order to achieve better outcomes.

The proposed research promises to help clinicians take the best decisions, to improve treatment outcomes, to reduce side effects and costs for health care, and to provide a better overall experience to the patient.