CARDINAL SANTOS Medical Center (CSMC) recently unveiled its newest diagnostic instrument — the Discovery PET/CT 710 scanner — meant to up the standard of cancer care.

The PET/CT scanner, which is only available in a handful of tertiary hospitals across the country, is an “advanced nuclear imaging technique which combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT)” in a single machine, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America website.

The machine is said to be “highly sensitive with high-protocol sensitivity,” producing a “high-definition image reconstruction while minimizing radiation,” said a press release.

A single imaging session is said to reveal information about both the structure and function of cells and tissues and provides a more detailed picture of cancerous tissues than either test alone, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America website.

The installation of the machine is in line with the hospital’s goal of being a “full-blown cancer specialty center,” said Pilar Nenuca-Almira, president and CEO of CSMC during a press conference on March 8.

The World Health Organization notes that cancer causes 57,000 deaths a year in the country according to recent available data on its website.

The PET/CT scanner is a nine-figure investment for the hospital, said Augusto Palisoc, Jr., president and CEO of the Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI), which operates CSMC.

“Our countrymen need not go abroad to seek [this kind of] treatment,” Mr. Palisoc said, adding that they are currently working on “improving services for other hospitals under Metro Pacific.” These include the Makati Medical Center, De Los Santos Medical Center, Asian Hospital, and Medical Center, among others.

A PET/CT test takes around two hours to conduct and will cost around P75,000 said Dr. Zenaida Javier-Uy, VP and chief medical officer of CSMC.

MPHHI is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). BusinessWorld through the Star Group, is under MediaQuest Holdings, another subsidiary of the MPIC. — Z.B. Chua