Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT

The Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT incorporates all aspects of oncological and non-oncological radioisotope imaging as well as radioisotope therapy for a wide range of malignant disease and some benign disease

As well as gamma camera and PET/CT imaging, the department also provides a bone densitometry service. There are departments located at the Sutton and Chelsea hospitals. Gamma camera and PET/CT imaging is provided at both sites, with a bone densitometry at Sutton only. Bone densitometry services for the Chelsea hospital are provided at the Royal Brompton Hospital.


All of the consultant staff have specialist training in nuclear medicine, and each have their own area of expertise. They all work with a wide variety of different clinical units and have developed their clinical and research interests accordingly.

Specialist nuclear medicine technologists and radiographers are employed to provide a broad cross-section of experience and skills.

Regular staff meetings are held, and staff also attend biannual shared audit meetings with the Department of Diagnostic Radiology to ensure that clinical practice is of a consistently high standard.

The department provides ongoing support for all clinical units in the delivery of their research portfolios. New imaging and research protocols are developed through discussion between the lead Consultants, the service and research leads, and the radiation physicists.

See a full list of our staff.

Staff training

The department offers a robust clinical rotation for imaging staff to all areas, apart from DXA where the rotation is more limited. There is ample opportunity for further education, from in-house study days, mandatory training and monthly journal clubs to part-time relevant academic courses.

We are committed to role extension for all clinical staff. Intravenous injections and cannulations for imaging procedures are performed by the nuclear medicine technologists, radiographers and specialist nurses.


Find out more about the services we provide.

Equipment and facilities

The department is constantly striving to improve its imaging capability and is committed to utilising new technology and updating its equipment in order to do this.

Gamma cameras

At Sutton, the department currently houses three dual-headed gamma cameras (GE VG Millennium installed 1999, ADAC/Philips Forte installed 2000 and a Philips SKYLight installed 2003). All of these cameras are multi-functional and are able to provide a full range of nuclear medicine imaging. The SKYLight has a novel design making it more acceptable for imaging of young children and the room has been decorated to further promote this aspect.

The Chelsea department houses a Philips Brightview SPECT/CT which was installed in November 2011. This camera offers the ability to perform localisation CT with SPECT imaging, providing superior diagnostic information to SPECT alone.

All four cameras are covered by a fully comprehensive maintenance contract and are maintained through daily and weekly QC by nuclear medicine and physics staff.


At Sutton, a Philips Gemini dual slice PET/CT scanner was installed in 2004. It is sited within its own discreet PET/CT suite adjacent to the department, along with associated laboratory and ‘hot’ waiting area facilities. In early 2013 a new larger PET/CT suite will be opening with dedicated patient facilities and two Siemens Biograph mCT PET/CT scanners.

At Chelsea, a Philips Gemini TF 16-slice PET/CT scanner was installed in November 2011. This scanner offers time-of-flight technology which reduces the PET scan time and improves image quality.

The vast majority of the work performed on both scanners makes use of the radiopharmaceutical FDG which is very sensitive in the imaging of many types of cancer. In 2009 the new cyclotron facility operated by Erigal Ltd. opened for business on the Sutton site. This will provide access to a broader range of PET radiopharmaceuticals for both clinical and research use.

Find out more about having a PET/CT scan.

DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry)

At Sutton, the GE Lunar Prodigy Bone Densitometer was installed in 2000. It is currently operated three afternoons each week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) providing a service for Royal Marsden patients only.

Radioisotope therapy

There are three adult and two paediatric shielded treatment rooms at the Sutton site. One of the paediatric treatment rooms is located in the new Children’s and Teenage Cancer Centre. These rooms provide accommodation for those undergoing inpatient radioisotope therapy. Outpatient therapies are administered by skilled staff in the Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT.

Image analysis and review

All nuclear medicine and PET/CT data are sent to PACS for storage and review by referrers, although the PACS system does not provide appropriate quality for diagnostic review of these data.

With the exception of the DXA scanner all other imaging equipment sends its data to HERMES workstations for post processing, image review and reporting. The HERMES system features online archive for the easy retrieval of previous nuclear medicine and PET/CT imaging to aid assessment of current imaging. Use of this single processing platform throughout the department ensures consistency and facilitates training.


Research within imaging at both hospitals is aimed at the development of innovative approaches to address clinical problems in diagnosis, staging and monitoring tumour response to therapy. Due to our unique patient population there is ample scope for clinical research, and the department plays a central role in the evaluation of clinical trials within the hospital.

Regular multidisciplinary team meetings are held in conjunction with all clinical units. Nuclear medicine physicians, technologists, radiographers and nurses regularly speak at national and international conferences as well as contributing to internal and external educational programmes.



Sutton: 0208 661 3287

Chelsea: 0207 811 8541 


Nuclear Medicine Sutton: 0208 661 3286

PET/CT Sutton: 0208 661 3762

Chelsea: 0207 811 8541 

Reporting room

Sutton: 0208 661 6529

Chelsea: 0207 811 8537


Supported by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity contributed to the cost of the PET/CT scanner.

Help us work towards a future beyond cancer.