We propose to create an academic-industry partnership to develop commercially viable large-volume PET/CT scanners with a long axial field-of-view that will serve a wide range of applications in cancer from specialized clinical practice to advanced imaging biomarker research in clinical trials. The instrument will be scalable and offer the user a choice of axial field-of-view (AFOV) ranging from 70 cm to 210 cm. We propose an approach based on 70 cm axial segment lengths to provide optimal performance for the specific imaging tasks ranging from limited organ systems (e.g., lungs and heart) and pediatric torso imaging (one 70 cm segment) to full torso total-body adult imaging (2 - 3 segments or 140 - 210 cm). A 70 cm AFOV system, in particular, would provide a cost-effective size for pediatric patients with significant radiation dose reductions and reduced scan times for this population and a cost comparable to a PET/MR with standard AFOV. To achieve this goal we will create a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania, Philips Healthcare, and KAGE Medical, a new start-up venture, to develop the instrument such that it can translate Penn's Explorer prototype design to a commercial product. Specifically we will: 1) test and optimize performance of the 70 cm prototype Penn Explorer scanner and devise procedures to scale its range of axial lengths from 70-cm to 2.1-meters, 2) transfer the design to KAGE Medical to incorporate software design control, assembly and testing documentation, while also adding features for the end-user and improving the design to the functional level and reliability required for a commercial device, and 3) evaluate the system with a limited number of clinical pilot studies with a focus on the benefits of a 70 cm AFOV system for near-term clinically relevant applications, including adult and pediatric oncology imaging. There will be continuing cooperation with the team of clinical researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to transfer knowledge gained during the first human studies to optimize the instrument design and imaging performance as well as both patient and end-user experience in order to enhance its success as a commercial product. The purpose of our proposed AIP is to provide the resources for a commercial vendor to translate the design of our academic proto-type to a commercial product to offer other institutions the opportunity to explore potential applications of a long AFOV PET scanner, while also allowing us to implement this enhanced capability with Penn's Explorer, which will serve as the test-bed during the AIP project period.
Our proposed technology development in response to PAR-18-009 (Academic-Industrial Partnerships to Translate and Validate in vivo Cancer) addresses a need for improved clinical diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients. We will design and evaluate a scalable high performance, long axial FOV PET instrument that will provide significant benefits for clinical practice in cancer imaging. The long axial FOV leads to very high sensitivity and can be used to reduce administered dose and imaging time, while also improving image quality and accuracy. This will be achieved by creating a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania, Philips Healthcare, and KAGE Medical, a new start-up venture, to develop the instrument and translate Penn's prototype design to a commercial product.