Dr. Taiga Yamaya, Team Leader

Dr. Taiga Yamaya

Open PET leading to joint cancer diagnosis and radiotherapy

National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS)

*The organization and the title are those when awarded


  • 日本語
  • English


An open-type geometry for PET, OpenPET, is our new idea to visualize a physically opened space between two detector rings. The OpenPET is expected to enable joint PET imaging and radiation therapy by letting the beams pass though the gap. For charged particle therapy, in particular, the OpenPET will enable in situ dose verification by visualizing the distribution of primary particles stopped in a patient body. PET-based image guided radiation therapy including mobile tumor tracking will also become possible by applying a real-time image reconstruction system to be developed. The required number of PET detectors can be reduced in our 2nd generation OpenPET, the single-ring OpenPET.

Research summary

Positron emission tomography (PET) and radiotherapy are used independently for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

By combining the two, Dr. Yamaya proposed a concept of new open-type PET geometry, "OpenPET", which can perform radiotherapy simultaneously with PET diagnostic imaging, by remarkably opening up physical spaces.

 With an advanced 3D radiation detector which his group had previously developed to improve PET resolution, he succeeded to construct prototype systems which have enough gaps to irradiate a radiotherapy treatment beam to a patient.

He has also verified new image processing techniques which can be utilized in an integrated system for radiotherapy.

OpenPET has a large potential for innovative cancer therapies, such as "radiotherapy while in-situ cancer observation by PET."

* PET:Positron emission tomography is a diagnostic imaging technique, which detects radiations emitted form tracer substances within patient body and constructs 3D images by computer processing.