Kingston to acquire PET-CT scanner
September 27, 2023
KINGSTON, Ont. – Kingston Health Sciences Centre is beginning construction later this month to house a positron emission tomography scanner (PET-CT) at Kingston General Hospital. The scanner will be the first of its kind to be located in southeastern Ontario outside of Ottawa and Toronto and provides “extremely sensitive and effective” non-invasive detection, diagnosis and monitoring for cancer treatment, as well as cardiac and neurological diseases.
At an estimated purchase and construction cost of $10 million, it will be one of only a handful in use in the province and is expected to be ready for use in early 2025, reported the Kingston Whig-Standard.
“Currently patients have to travel to a larger city to access this level of imaging technology, which not only is inconvenient but difficult for those facing a potential cancer diagnosis,” KHSC president and CEO, Dr. David Pichora (pictured), said in a written statement provided by the organization. “We have been working for years to bring this technology to Kingston, and the fact that we have achieved this goal is a testament to the vision and dedication of our healthcare teams.”
According to a news release from KHSC, the device looks like an MRI machine but uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radio tracers, a camera and a computer to examine organ and tissue function, allowing doctors to identify changes at a cellular level, which “may detect the onset of diseases much earlier than other types of tests, like an MRI or CT scan,” the release said.
It is also useful in monitoring a patient’s response to medical treatment.
“This new device will meet a growing need in our region, and we anticipate we will be able to support approximately 1,000 patients in our first year,” Dr. Omar Islam, head of radiology at KHSC, said in a written statement. “PET-CT is a rapidly expanding field. Partnering with GE HealthCare to bring this technology to KHSC, we are thrilled to provide a new service that will have a significant positive impact on patient care in our region.”
KHSC has recruited a molecular imaging radiologist – southeastern Ontario’s first, according to the organization – to oversee the new device and its implementation at Kingston General Hospital.
“Dr. Roshini Kulanthaivelu studied at King’s College in the United Kingdom and most recently completed fellowship training in PET-CT at the University of Toronto. KHSC is also in the process of recruiting a PET-CT lead technologist to oversee the implementation of this new service,” the release said.
“I want to acknowledge that this project simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local donors, particularly Britt Smith and Homestead Land Holdings, as well as the numerous individuals who have made unrestricted donations allowing us the flexibility to meet this need,” Pichora stated. “I would also like to recognize Ontario Health and the provincial government for providing operational funding for this service. This support is indicative of the growing role that KHSC is playing in Ontario.”