Award for lung cancer imaging expert

1 May 2009

Lung scan from the combined SPECT/CT camera
Lung scan from the combined SPECT/CT camera

University of Sydney researcher, Associate Professor Dale Bailey from the Faculty of Health Sciences, was awarded the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Award for the Best Scientific Paper at the ANZ Society of Nuclear Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting.

He and five colleagues were honoured for their significant innovation in research or clinical practice in the field of Nuclear Medicine.

The award, which was presented on 26 April 2009, recognises Associate Professor Bailey's work in developing methodology to estimate the amount of lung function a patient is likely to lose by having part of their lung removed for lung cancer. They used a combined SPECT/CT camera which they constructed themselves to measure the amount of gas and blood going to the lobe of the lung that the surgeon intends to remove. If the estimated loss is thought to still leave the patient with enough lung capacity for routine activities, the surgery can proceed.

Associate Professor Bailey said, "The ability to predict loss of lung function prior to pneumonectomy or lobectomy, most frequently performed for treating lung cancer with curative intent, is desirable for the thoracic surgeons and respiratory physicians managing the patient.

"Through this study, my colleagues and I have developed the tools that permit us to evaluate regional lung function prior to surgery in a manner which appears to be promising."

"With further research, we hope that one day these tools will help improve lung cancer management and post-operative outcomes for patients by better selecting who is suitable or not suitable for surgery," he said.

Associate Professor Dale Bailey is Principal Physicist, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital; Associate Professor,Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences; Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney. He is also a member of the University of Sydney Cancer Research Network.