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Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine

Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine

The research unit is domiciled in the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Odense University Hospital (OUH) and is engaged in research and development (R & D) within the specialty of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine field aiming to contribute to and increased understanding of diseases and disease mechanisms and a more rational and significantly improved patient management. The unit carries out basic and clinical research of high quality by itself and in particular in collaboration with hospital departments and centres at OUH, the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and national and international partners.

In its research, NMA widely utilizes apparatus and equipment in use for functional diagnostics and molecular imaging in the daily routine, where the specialty serves most departments at OUH incl. Svendborg Hospital and hospital departments in the Region of Southern Denmark (RSD) in addition to specialist doctors and general practitioners throughout the region. The overall principle is that every patient is a candidate for a research project. The overall principle is that any patient examined is a candidate for one or more research projects to the benefit of the patient himself, other patients, and society at large.

The research unit holds the following imaging and non-imaging equipment and facilities: 8 gamma cameras, 2 SPECT/CTs, 5 PET/CTs, and 1 PET / MR scanner, 2 cyclotrones, radiopharmaceutical and radiochemical laboratories, etc. The department has its own cellular laboratory for studying cellular uptake and response to diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. In collaboration with the Biomedical Laboratory, SDU, pigs and rats, fish, and other animal species are examined using a dedicated PET/CT/SPECT scanner that is an element of the Danish Molecular Bioimaging Center (DaMBIC) at the SDU.

In these years, the unit focuses on research within the six main areas: PET/MR, Cancer, Brain, Heart and Special Diseases, and targeted radioisotope therapy of cancer using primarily Auger-electron-emitting isotopes. Objectives and scope of research are changed and adjusted on a continuous basis in line with results achieved and useful new information from inland or abroad. All research in the department is conducted with a view to improved patient treatment, regardless of whether we study specific atoms and isotopes, new radiochemical compounds, or cellular behavior and responses to intervention.

The vast majority is clinical research performed in patients – and for comparison often in healthy subjects too – in most organs of the: brain, glands, lungs, heart, vessels, liver spleen, adrenals, kidneys and urinary tract, intestines, blood, muscles, bones, joints as well as more general ways in brain, cardiovascular and cancer diseases, the musculoskeletal and infectious/inflammatory disease, diabetes, systemic disorders, etc.

Our fields of research have opportunities unmet by any other modalities, as PET/CT and PET/MR allow for tracing trails and function of molecules in the organism. In one study séance we are able to find out noninvasively and potentially quantify (1) whether a disease is present in the body or not, (2) where in the body it exists, (3) how widespread and (4) how serious it is. Using repeated studies, you can determine (5) the extent to which and how fast a treatment is effective or not, and (6) whether the disease is gone, remains or returns. No other techniques can match these capabilities and capacities, and, therefore, if used strategically, our examinations will have enormous impact on patient management, healthcare cost, and society at large.