Patient Care

Nuclear Medicine

The Nuclear Medicine Department of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center was established in 1993, and was based on Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center's State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China. It integrates medicine, teaching, and research, and uses cancer theranostics as the core of its work. The department is responsible for nuclear medicine diagnosis and therapy for the whole hospital, as well as teaching work for undergraduates and medical students of Sun Yat-sen University’s 8-year-program. It is also a post-doctoral mobile station, a post-doctoral station for imaging medicine and nuclear medicine of Sun Yat-sen University, and is the Nuclear Medicine Residency Training Base of Guangdong Province. 

The Department of Nuclear Medicine is a vibrant, innovative department whose mission is to provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapeutic patient studies, further clinical and basic science nuclear and molecular research, and serve as an important educational resource both within the university and the community at large. Under the leadership of Dr. Fan Wei, the department has developed rapidly in recent years and established a high-quality medical team composed of doctors, nurses, technicians, physicists and chemists, with full ability for radionuclide production, diagnosis and therapy. Combining nearly 30 years of commitment to medical services with research and teaching, the department has grown into a cohesive team with 46 active full-time faculty and staff members, including 17 physicians, one professor, three associate professors and 13 with junior titles.

The department focuses on delivering high-quality, patient-focused care, and serves the goal of providing patients with the best medical practices. For diagnosis, the nuclear medicine department mainly carries out ECT diagnosis work such as whole-body bone scanning, thyroid imaging, lung perfusion imaging, renal dynamics and GFR calculations during the early period. Since the first PET/CT was introduced in 2005, the ability to serve patients has greatly improved. Together in 2019, our team performed over 14,600 diagnostic PET scans, 11,400 SPECT and bone density scans, had more than 4,500 outpatient encounters and handled over 300 inpatient admissions. At present, the department is comprised of two centers, one in Yuexiu District and one in Huangpu District. Equipped to perform nuclear medicine examinations and research work, the department operates one cyclotron (GE, 16.5Mev), nine radiopharmaceuticals synthesis hot cells (including 3 solid target stations), and one total-body PET/CT (uEXPLORER), as well as two 
general PET/CT, one PET/MR, two SPECT/CT, one small-animal Micro-PET and one small animal laboratory. The cyclotron can produce radionuclides 18F, 11C, 13N, 64Cu, 68Ga and 124I, and produce and label radiopharmaceuticals. As a well-equipped and high-standard department, we not only provide patients with routine medical practices, but also meet the needs of precise and personalized clinical and research diagnosis and therapy.

The department has been committed to nuclear medicine theranostics. To better care for patients after nuclear medicine treatment, we provide 13 patient beds for nuclide therapy that meet environmental protection and radiation protection standards (8 beds in Yuexiu District and 5 in Huangpu District). We routinely provide internal radiation treatment of thyroid cancer, 89Sr and 153Sm radionuclide therapy for bone metastases, and serve the majority of other cancer patients. We are also actively exploring new treatment methods, and involved in multi-center clinical trials. A program for 223Ra treatment to hormone-resistant prostate cancer has been completed, and a program concerning recombinant TSH for 131I internal radiotherapy for thyroid cancer, as well as a program for Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan) treatment of B-cell lymphoma are in progress. Being involved in clinical trials and projects enables us to accumulate experience and provide state-of-art therapy for patients. To better meet the needs of patients for radionuclide internal radiotherapy, nuclear medicine theranostics will continue to be the focus of the department.

Scientific research in our department has been oriented towards solving the medical needs of patients, focusing on both basic and clinical research, and we are committed to the research of early diagnosis, precise staging, efficacy evaluation and tumor prognosis judgement. So far, we have been responsible for and participated in dozens of national and provincial scientific research projects. In addition, we have won third prize in the Science and Technology Progress Award of the State Education Commission, and published more than 50 high-quality SCI papers in journals such as the journal of Controlled Release.

As for teaching, the nuclear medicine department undertakes the teaching and clinical rotation of doctoral students, postgraduates, undergraduates, and physician refreshers. So far, we have trained many Ph.D. and master graduate students and our department is listed in the national standardized training base for clinicians, and those receiving training physician refreshers from Guangdong, Henan, Shanghai, Xinjiang, Guangxi, Hunan, Hainan and other provinces. We have also hosted a national advanced education program called New Advances in the Tumor Nuclear Medicine Program, which has been held for 11 consecutive sessions. Moreover, we have participated in textbook writing, including PET/CT Diagnostics, Clinical Oncology, and Nuclear Medicine. In summary, we are proud of our current unparalleled capabilities in nuclear medicine and are excited as we continue to lead the field into the future.

Updated September 2020

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