Precise, accurate imaging—think mammography, CT and MRI scans—is important to cancer screening, treatment, and follow-up care. Now, even more advanced technology is emerging, and with it, the need for imaging specialists with the expertise to use them.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has demonstrated particular excellence in the field, as demonstrated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) naming HCI a Center for Quantitative Imaging Excellence (CQIE). This designation is only available to NCI-Designated Cancer Centers; HCI is the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in the five-state Intermountain West.
Quantitative imaging involves imaging at the molecular and cellular level with positron emission tomography (PET), using volumetric computed tomography (vCT), volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (vMRI), and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).
According to NCI, the CQIE program was necessary to establish standard operating procedures and guidelines for the new technology that would be uniform across the entire NCI network of cancer centers. Once a center has earned CQIE certification, it is deemed "trial ready," and capable of conducting NCI-sponsored clinical trials that use advanced quantitative imaging. Before, there were significant delays in the time required to open a clinical trial when the advanced imaging technology was needed.
"As Huntsman Cancer Institute works to provide new approaches to individualized cancer diagnosis and therapy through clinical trials, the ability to provide our patients with cutting edge technology and highly trained specialists is becoming more and more important," says Mary Beckerle, HCI's CEO and director. "The attainment of this credential is essential to our continued progress toward the goal of personalized cancer care."
Beckerle credits John M. Hoffman, M.D., co-leader of HCI's Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics Research Program and a professor of radiology and neurology at the University of Utah, for his work to obtain the NCI credential. Each approved CQIE center must be recertified annually.
For more information about the NCI initiative, please visit http://www.acrin.org/CORELABS/NCICQIEQUALIFICATIONPROGRAM.aspx