6 April 2017

The CHUS Has a New Tool to Detect Cancers

The Centre de recherche clinique (CRC) of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) has a new tool that offers more effective testing for patients who are suspected of having neuroendocrine tumours. The tool enables testing by the radionuclide Octreotate (Dota-tate).

Neuroendocrine tumours appear in the digestive tract in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, appendix, or large intestine.

The standard exam to make a diagnosis was not optimal. “The test cost $1600 per patient, for the product used alone. It’s also very restrictive for the patient, who had to miss several days of work to be tested. So we asked ourselves how we could improve the situation,” explained Dr. Jean Verreault, Head of Nuclear Medicine at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS.

The imaging research team at the CHUS’ Centre de recherche clinique (CRC) produced Dota-tate onsite for patients who must undergo the diagnostic scan. A gallium generator had to be acquired, which was made possible thanks to various investments, some coming from the physicians themselves.

Many advantages for patients

So far, 130 patients from across Quebec have successfully undergone the scan. For the patients, the advantages of undergoing this new-generation type of exam are many.

Docteur Éric Turcotte“Thanks to Dota-tate, we can locate neuroendocrine tumours and lesions as small as 4 mm, compared with the Canadian Standard that detects lesions of 1 cm and more. The medical scan with Dota-tate is a major advantage to patients, because it can be done in under two hours with low radiation exposure,” noted Dr. Éric Turcotte, nuclear medicine specialist at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS, and research professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke as well as the CRCHUS.

Sources: La Tribune and CHUS
Photo credits: CHUS

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