PET imaging

About PET in cancer research

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an advanced type of imaging that can be used to look at how a tumour is functioning.

Research using PET can be both expensive and challenging. In 2007, a report by NCRI looked at PET research activity in the UK, and recommended that a coordination function should be set up to provide national leadership and encourage collaboration. The NCRI PET Research Network was established in response to this need.

► NCRI framework for PET research, 2007 (PDF)

The NCRI PET Research Network

This project ran from 2008–2012, with three small workstreams focusing on:

  • building a trials network and quality assurance processes
  • increasing the use of PET in late-phase trials
  • stimulating early-phase research using PET.

Each workstream took on a different role in trying to overcome barriers to PET research, from community-building activities such as workshops through to dealing with some of the complex regulatory and logistical processes involved in setting up trials with PET. A patient video was also produced to help improve information for those considering taking part in a PET trial.

► Final report of the NCRI PET Research Network, 2012 (PDF)

► Patient video about what it is like to have a PET scan, 2012 (YouTube)

The PET Core Lab

The PET Core Lab is an ongoing output from the PET Research Network, funded by a subset of NCRI Partners from 2012-2015, and now supported within the Kings ECMC. The Core Lab team is based at St Thomas’ Hospital, and accredits sites for participation in PET multicentre trials. They also provide a quality control service, data transfer and coordination support, and develop guidance and standards for the use of PET in research.

You should consider approaching the Core Lab team if you are:

  • a researcher who wants to use the Core Lab to help run a PET study
  • a research funder who wants to understand how grantees using this service should plan quality control costs into their applications.

► PET Core Lab website

►NCRI PET Core Lab report 2012-2015 (PDF)

► Email the Core Lab team