The Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy, formerly the PET Imaging Center, was established as the first positron emission tomography imaging center in Louisiana. It specializes in the production and distribution of radiopharmaceuticals, technologically advanced clinical trials and research opportunities for scientists.

The PET Imaging Center (PETIC) was established in 1995 by BRF as one of the first non-academic, full-service PET imaging centers in theUnited States and the first in Louisiana. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a molecular imaging technique that produces images that assist in the early diagnosis and therapeutic assessment of diseases which may lead to better patient outcomes and reduced medical costs.

In 2013, PETIC expanded its mission and services to become the Center for MolecularImaging and Therapy (CMIT). CMIT seeks to be a national resource that will provideLouisiana residents with increased access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, as well as increasing the clinical and pre-clinical research capacity of local and regional research institutions.

Research Focus

Currently CMIT manufactures radio pharmaceuticals that are used for diagnosis and therapy assessment for oncology (almost all forms of cancer), cardiology, and neurology (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases).

CMIT continues to expand the molecular imaging research program through two divisions:

  1. The Radiopharmaceutical Division for expanded access to novel and exotic radio pharmaceuticals.
  2. The Imaging Sciences Division for conducting cutting-edge clinical trials.

CMIT is developing diagnostic probes based on the prevalence of specific diseases in Louisiana, which provide advanced medical tools for our local population and physicians. These options are currently available only at a few eminent academic centers across the nation.  For instance, patients with prostate cancer have access to an image-guided treatment option, and state-of-the-art advanced medical care via targeted alpha therapy.

CMIT is engaged in multiple clinical trials, ranging from treating prostate cancer patients with advanced experimental radiotherapy, to diagnosing hyper insulism in infants, and diagnosing and assessing potential therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Over the past three years, CMIT has increased participation in sponsored multi-center trials for oncology and neurology.  Sponsors include the American College of Radiology ImagingNetwork (ACRIN), Avid Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Healthcare, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, and Navidia Biopharmaceuticals.

Additionally, CMIT provides radiopharmaceutical and imaging support for clinical trials performed at LSU Health Shreveport, University Health Shreveport and other centers throughout the nation. The CMIT strengthens Shreveport and the surrounding areas as a hub for medical treatments and research. It enhances the notion that Shreveport stands as a preferred location for medical treatment in Louisiana.

PET Imaging

Since 1995 CMIT has performed over 9,700 scans, valued at $30 million, free of charge to indigent patients, primarily to Louisiana residents at University Health Shreveport (formerly LSU Health Shreveport hospital). Since 1994, CMIT has performed over 40,000 clinical procedures and has helped to establish PET imaging as the standard of care in the fields of oncology and neurology. Plans for growth include the construction of a new facility to house CMIT’s radiopharmaceutical research and production activities, as well as its diagnostic and therapeutic scanning operations.

Radiopharmaceutical Production and Distribution

CMIT has continued to expand radiopharmaceutical availability by tripling production capabilities and adding additional radio pharmaceuticals to its inventory for research studies. Through the BRF’s subsidiary Southern Isotopes, Inc , radioisotopes for clinical use are produced in Shreveport and Baton Rouge and distributed to medical facilities throughout Louisiana, and to Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. With cyclotrons in Shreveport and Baton Rouge for radiochemical production, and an imaging center and radiochemical research and production laboratories in Shreveport, CMIT has significant resources to provide state-of-the-art molecular imaging services.