Siemens unveils first whole-body MR-PET system with simultaneous
23 Nov 2010
Siemens Healthcare will unveil at the end of this month the
Biograph mMR, the world's first integrated whole-body molecular magnetic
resonance (MR) imaging system with simultaneous PET and MR data
Currently undergoing clinical use testing (so not commercially
available yet), this revolutionary system comprises an MR scanner
and an integrated Positron Emission Tomography (PET) detection
system with an architecture that performs as one. It will be
unveiled at the 96th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), 28 November - 2
December 2010 in Chicago.
In the new 3-Tesla hybrid system, Siemens developers have succeeded
for the first time in simultaneously capturing MR and PET data with
a whole-body system. The Biograph mMR system has been installed at
the University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Munich
Technical University in Germany.
"Together with our partner Siemens, we are entering a new
dimension in diagnostic imaging today," says Prof. Dr. Markus
Schwaiger, Director of the Clinic for Nuclear Medicine at the
University Hospital. "We've initiated clinical use testing of the
Biograph mMR in an effort to diagnose diseases at a very early stage
to see the progression of disease and to use that information to
develop a therapy plan precisely focused on the respective patient.
Furthermore, we plan to use the system for cancer follow-up in the
long run, by reducing radiation exposure by the use of the system."
With the simultaneous acquisition of MR and PET data, this system
is designed to provide new opportunities for imaging. While MR
provides exquisite morphological and functional details in human
tissue, PET goes further to investigate the human body at the level
of cellular activity and metabolism.
The innovative system has the potential to be a particularly
valuable tool for identifying neurological, oncological and cardiac
conditions of disease and in supporting the planning of appropriate
therapies. Since MRI does not emit ionizing radiation, Biograph mMR
may provide an added benefit with lower-dose imaging. The Biograph
mMR also opens new opportunities for research, such as the
development of new biomarkers or new therapeutic approaches.
The Biograph mMR system has been installed at
the university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Munich
Technical University, Germany. The picture shows (from left to
right): Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Kleiner (Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft), Prof. Dr. Reiner Gradinger (Medical
Director at Klinikum rechts der Isar), Prof. Dr. Hermann Requardt
(Sector CEO Siemens Healthcare), Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch (Bavarian
State Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts) and Horst
Seehofer (Minister President of Bavaria).
"Biograph mMR is the latest breakthrough innovation of Siemens in
the field of diagnostic imaging. It will be a new instrument for
driving personalized medicine forward," says Walter Maerzendorfer,
CEO, Magnetic Resonance at Siemens Healthcare.
"Biograph mMR is designed to simultaneously acquire morphology,
function, and metabolism for the entire body," adds Britta
Fuenfstueck, CEO, Molecular Imaging at Siemens Healthcare.
MR and PET have become an established part of everyday healthcare
routines and have proven themselves to be valuable clinical
diagnostic tools. The integration of these two technologies into a
single system capable of simultaneous acquisition brings the
potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of many conditions. Initial
research suggests that with this system, Molecular MR can scan the
entire body in as little as 30 minutes for the combined exams,
compared to one hour or more for sequential MR and PET examinations.
Siemens envisions a wide range of clinical applications for
molecular MR, including the early identification and staging of
malignancies, therapy planning (including surgery planning) and
A technical revolution
Until now, it was nearly impossible to integrate MR and PET
technologies: the conventional PET detectors, which use
photomultiplier tubes, could not be used in the strong magnetic
field generated by an MR system as they were affected by magnetism.
Integration was further limited by the lack of space inside the MR
device. For this reason, MR-PET imaging is normally acquired by two
separate scans with a significant time lag. With Biograph mMR,
Siemens brings the first molecular MR system for clinical research
that integrates MR with compact, specialized PET detectors.