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Clinical Research

The clinical research component is carried out at a variety of locations including

The Center for Positron Emission Tomography

Cardiology (J Gona (Director PET Facility VAMC), S Husain, J Canty):

In addition to a vigorous SPECT program for cardiac evaluation, clinical PET studies of myocardialviability using [18F]FDG, and [13N]NH3 stress/rest evaluations of myocardial perfusion reserve are routinely done. Research into the underlying mechanisms of myocardial “hibernation” are underway, including studies in a porcine model of ischemia. Previous studies have included valuations of insulin administration in cardiac FDG imaging.

Neuroimaging (Alan H. Lockwood, M.D.)

Routine clinical neuroimaging is done in epilepsy and tumor evaluation. Numerous interdisciplinary research projects are underway. Three focus areas of brain research are language development, auditory function, (including the effects of aging, hearing loss and tinnitus), and hepatic encephalopathy.

Other areas of neurology research include rehabilitation of minimal traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, and developmental stuttering. Oncology (H. Nabi). Clinical studies with [18F]FDG in patients with a gamut of malignancies (head and neck, lung, colorectal, ovarian, gastroesophageal, lymphomas) have been underway since September 1994. Approximately 600 carcinoma patients have been studied to date. Efforts have focused on developing outcomes based studies that would lead to more appropriate patient management, either by directing surgical excision/local radiotherapy, or by obviating the need for unnecessary surgery such as in patients with non– small cell lung carcinoma and esophageal carcinomas. In these 2 types of malignancies, whole body [18F]FDG PET has led to upstaging 45% of patients from resectable to non– resectable. Comparative studies include: PET FDG vs anti–CEA monoclonal antibodies in colorectal carcinoma patients; compares FDG PET vs 511 Kev SPECT in patients with tumors larger than 1.5 cm, and FDG PET vs 111In labeled somatostatin receptor in the staging of patients with newly diagnosed small cell lung cancer.

Last updated: September 5, 2008