Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, will soon start providing nuclear medicine therapeutic service to inpatients; a senior official told Gulf Times. “So far, we have activated and opened our diagnostic nuclear medicine and molecular imaging services; and we are working hard to open the therapeutic service which should open within the next few months;” Dr Mehdi Djekidel, division chief, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at Sidra Medicine, said.
“This will help us provide therapies to patients within the hospital; and help them avoid travelling abroad to get such services,” he stated. Nuclear Medicine, in existence for over 70 years, is a highly sub-specialized field of radiology that looks at functional changes in the body at the molecular level. Recently there have been many new developments in the field.
“We are expanding the scope of the portfolio of radio tracers; that we are using in nuclear medicine here at Sidra Medicine. Moving forward, we will introduce as many novel technologies into the country as possible. We hope to bring in a multilayer portfolio of treatment options. It will help patients to consider treatment here and thereby avoid travelling abroad,” said Dr Djekidel. The official said that the radiology department helps in providing the necessary assistance to different medical teams in multidisciplinary settings.
Portfolio of treatment options
“We use the newest cameras that are much higher in resolution to take pictures. So, we are making use of the most advanced facilities in nuclear medicine at Sidra. But our dose administration in nuclear medicine is the lowest amount of radioactive material that a patient needs according to international guidelines,” Dr Djekidel added.
The official stated that in paediatrics, nuclear medicine is used in two main areas; one is molecular imaging which allows us with specific radiotracers to take pictures of changes happening in certain areas of the body and the other area is the therapeutic aspect. “Both of them allow us to fine-tune in detail what targets we aim to image or treat in small parts of the body. This in the end gives us an idea of what is exactly happening in the body and also permits us to deliver a personalized targeted treatment,” he added.
“Some patients who have aggressive diseases or higher stages of cancer are eligible for some nuclear medicine therapies. These are targeted therapies and approved worldwide but one of the conditions is that they require inpatient stay in the hospital. Sidra Medicine has an inpatient room built specifically for this purpose,” said the physician. So, according to Dr Djekidel, nuclear medicine around the world is making rapid expansions.
“A lot of newer technologies are taking place with newer cameras and newer radio tracers. But at Sidra Medicine, we are putting a lot of efforts day and night to bring state of the art medical care to our patients. We use international guidelines and best practice principles when performing nuclear medicine tests on our patients,” he added.