Rob Mccollum: Early detection is the key in the fight against cancer treatment and Cancer Treatment Centers of America now has a powerful tool to diagnose and stage tumors with improved accuracy. It’s also the first of its kind in North America. Radiologist, Dr. Timothy McKay is here. Timothy thank you for being here.
Timothy McCay: Thanks for having me.
Rob Mccollum: We really appreciate it, so this is a huge breakthrough, tell me what’s happening.
Timothy McCay: A PET-CT is a machine that we utilize to stage cancer. It’s for early detection it’s to help stage the patient to determine what stage of cancer they have and then as they go through therapy it helps to determine if the therapy is working and if the cancer has returned.
Rob Mccollum: So what is different about this new technology?
Timothy McCay: This technology that was just brought out by GE has several factors which is a brand new platform for a PET-CT. One is it has a resolution of .28 sonometers or 2.8 millimeters which is very small. All the other PET-CT's before have a resolution of about 10 millimeters. So we can really see lesions smaller than before.
Rob Mccollum: So take me through the process. It used to be that someone would come in you might see something you weren’t sure what it was because you didn’t have the resolution and you tell them you have to wait and see.
Timothy McCay: Come back in three months. We would see a small pulmonary nodule for instance or something maybe small in the liver and we’d say we don’t know for sure what it is it may be a cancer it may not be cancer we’ll do another scan in three months and at that point we’ll determine whether or not we need to reinstitute therapy or change their therapy. And now with the new PET-CT scanner are able to detect those lesions, determine whether or not their PET-avid which will tell us whether or not it’s a malignancy and then start therapy immediately.
Rob Mccollum: Well, I know with the entire battle against cancer early detection is the key, so it helps your treatment to know earlier, but also to have to sit and wait three months not knowing the results not having to wait to do another scan the ability to cut that out - that uncertainty out - give them the answers they need to begin treatment right away, it’s got to be huge for the patients.
Timothy McCay: It’s huge for the patients; it’s huge for the whole fight against cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers for America is committed to the patient. Everything they focus on is about the patient. When it came down to whether or not we were going to buy this machine most hospitals look to determine whether or not it will pay for itself - what new things you can do with it - in order to pay for it. The chairman of the board and the board simply wanted to know what is this going to do to help fight against cancer. And when I presented the technology of 2.8 millimeter resolution, motion management, you know for the lesion that’s moving next to the liver we can now freeze that in time. And things like that, it was, they said buy it, just get it.
Rob Mccollum: So my understanding some things, when there is a part of the body that is in constant motion is it really hard to get a clear picture of what is going on there?
Timothy McCay: Well resolution is based on being able to get a picture of it in time. Well, when your laying on the table getting this PET-CT, you’re breathing, your heart's beating, things are moving that you can’t stop. So, GE has a technology to map out the respiratory cycle so when you’re looking at an area it’s moving along. They can actually watch it as it goes up and down with the respiratory cycle. Then we can transfer that over to radiation therapy and we can treat it with radiation therapy during the same respiratory cycle.
Rob Mccollum: So, that information was also used in treatment as well as diagnosis?
Timothy McCay: Exactly,
Rob Mccollum: You mentioned GE, I know you work with them to bring this is the first one in North America.
Timothy McCay: That is correct.
Rob Mccollum: And it’s at the Cancer treatment Centers of America in Tulsa by the way, the closest one is in Tulsa it’s just right up the road. And this is huge for the entire - you know, center portion of the country is going to be utilizing this. How did GE get involved?... Quickly we’ve go about 30 seconds left.
Timothy McCay: It was a quick marriage, we trusted GE that the technology was going to work. They knew that we could provide the patient population that could really highlight the strengths of this machine. And again, once we saw what it was going to do for patient, the board simply said spend the money get it in here and let’s get it going.
Rob Mccollum: Well, we appreciate you being here. If you would like more information you can call Cancer Treatment Centers of America at 800-333-CTCA or at cancercenter.com for more information. Thank you so much for being here.