The Trustees are pleased to announce that the they have just been awarded a grant of £278,000 from the Hull and East Riding Cardiac Trust fund. This grant funding will go towards purchasing essential equipment for the soon to be constructed Molecular Imaging Research Centre (MIRC) at Castle Hill Hospital. This equipment will be used to produce imaging drugs (radiotracers) that can be injected into patients to show whether their heart is healthy or not.

The Molecular Imaging Research Centre (MIRC) is an exciting partnership led by the Daisy Appeal together with the local NHS and the University of Hull to increase cutting edge medical research at the hospital. Most positron emission tomography (PET or PET-CT) imaging is carried out to detect and select treatment for cancer. However, there is also a huge opportunity for improving the diagnosis of heart disease. The medical doctors and researchers plan to take advantage of this opportunity and have been boosted by the support from the Hull and East Riding Cardiac Trust Fund.

Professor Archibald, Director of the PET Research Centre at the University of Hull, said “The next major impact for positron emission tomography scanning will be in cardiac imaging and the new Molecular Imaging Research Centre offers an exciting opportunity for the local NHS and the University of Hull to lead nationally and internationally. The aim of this funding is to extend the capabilities and examine new imaging drugs for cardiac disease diagnosis. This will improve the standards of patient care and attract cardiac clinical trials to the local NHS.”

Hull researchers will be able to take a lead role in the development of cardiac PET as they have the key technological expertise to both generate new radiotracers from our research pipeline at the University that can coupled with the existing clinical expertise in the NHS. This will be further strengthened by the appointment of a cardiac imaging clinician to lead translational research projects from the clinical side.

The plans for the MIRC include installing a GE GENTrace600 cyclotron in the facility that will allow the local production not only of standard fluorine-18 radio tracers but also of carbon-11 based tracers that are more challenging to access. This will give researchers the opportunity this offers to develop a programme of cardiac PET-CT driven by clinical demand. The UK currently lags a long way behind North America and other countries in Western Europe but the MIRC will allow this situation to be addressed for the Hull and East Yorkshire region.