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PET First is a prospective study of up-front PET/CT in guiding diagnostic interventions in investigating pulmonary nodules suspicious for lung cancer. We asked lead researcher David Fielding to offer some insight into the project and how HIRF is contributing to clinical innovation.

What is your project about? PET First is about improving testing of patients with lung nodules by redefining when a FDG PET scan is done in patients with a higher than average probability of lung cancer. We hope to see an improved patient experience through requiring fewer tests.
What drove you into this field of research?  PET scans are often done AFTER the first biopsy and show abnormalities which could have guided the original biopsies. This drove us to ask whether this process could be improved.
What role does HIRF play with the project? HIRF plays an integral role in the project as they facilitate the expedient PET scanning required and also complete a breath hold CT which allows for navigational software to be used in any subsequent bronchoscopy procedures.
What impact could this project have on the community? A change in practice leading to less invasive procedures for the patient and faster outcomes in the investigation of suspicious lung nodules.
What would you say are the more challenging/enjoyable aspects of research? Finding a dedicated time for research while still being involved in clinical duties can be a challenge.  The positive is seeing the improved patient outcomes happening in clinical practice because of the research.
How did you hear about HIRF? Through their collaboration with UQCCR and QIMR Berghofer.
Advice to anyone wishing to start a research project? Look at what is happening in your clinical space – what are the ways you would like to see patient experience improved?



Dr. David Fielding

Principal Investigate for the PET First Project