PHILADELPHIA —Penn Medicine Valley Forge is now equipped with the most advanced, non-invasive imaging technique—a PET/CT scanner—available to patients today. The technology at Valley Forge will mainly be used in the oncology setting, helping to stage disease and guide radiation treatment plans.

PET/CT combines a computed tomography (CT) scan and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan into one to give a more detailed, 3D image—helping to diagnose diseases earlier, be it cancer, brain disorders or coronary artery disease.

“The PET/CT imaging has become an indispensable part of patient care at Penn’s Valley Forge location,” said Daniel Pryma, MD, an assistant professor of Radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and chief of Nuclear Medicine/Molecular Imaging Modality at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  “We are pleased that we can now offer the system to patients in the area, giving them easier access to state-of-the-art technology that is not only patient-friendly but also the most efficient and effective tool to diagnose and plan treatments for them.”

The system will be utilized for diagnostic PET/CT studies within the division of Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Molecular Imaging, department of Radiology, and the department of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

A PET/CT allows the reader to distinguish between a benign tissues and cancerous tumors. The highly sensitive PET portion of the scan detects the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body. Since cancer cells metabolize sugar at a higher rate than normal cells, the radioactive sugar concentrates in the malignant cells so they can be clearly identified.

The CT portion of the scan provides a detailed image of the internal anatomy that reveals the location, size, and shape of abnormal cancerous growths detected on PET.

Penn Medicine Valley Forge is a state-of-the art facility providing expert primary and specialty health care, plus a full range of services. For more information, please visit

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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