Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA, are pioneering the use of a mobile in-room PET scanner that can begin scanning the patient around two minutes after proton therapy has been delivered (see MGH trials in-room proton dosimetry). In this short film by our sister publication Physics World, MGH's Harald Paganetti and Georges El Fakhri discuss the design and testing of this scanner.

The aim of PET range verification is to reduce the impact of uncertainties in patient set-up, dose calculation or changes in patient weight – factors made particularly critical by the high precision of proton therapy. The researchers predict that their scanner could reduce the uncertainty of predicting proton range from an average of 5 mm down to 3 mm. They note that early results from a pilot study on a small group of patients look promising.

If you enjoyed this video, then you may want to watch this film about the history of the MGH and its approach to cancer therapy.