New diagnostic centre for cancer patients in Vilnius, Lithuania

A new centre for positron emission tomography was built at the Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos. This advanced functional imaging technology combined with computer imaging has improved early diagnosis of cancer and the effectiveness of treatment. The modern centre provides better access to health specialists and state-of-the-art equipment for Lithuanian citizens. 

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PET equipment at Santariskes hospital in Vilnius © PI Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos PET equipment at Santariskes hospital in Vilnius © PI Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos

" These examinations will allow the assessment of the incidence of various oncological diseases, relapse of diseases and effectively evaluate the response of the applicable treatment. "

Assistant professor J. Dementavičienė, Head of the Centre of Radiology and Nuclear medicine, PI Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality in Lithuania, due to factors including late or incorrect diagnosis and treatment. As part of its programme to reduce morbidity and mortality from non-infectious diseases, Lithuania invested EU funds in improving the infrastructure and quality of services at oncology institutions.

By concentrating oncological research and treatment in large hospitals and research centres, patients have access to highly qualified specialists and state-of-the-art technological equipment. 

Advanced imaging equipment

The new diagnostic centre at Santaros Klinikos is aiding early detection and effective control of cancer using positron emission tomography (PET). This nuclear medicine functional imaging technique is used to observe metabolic processes in the body as an aid to diagnosis. The patient is injected with a tracer substance and lies under a scanner, which detects positrons emitted by the tracer. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. The technique is most often used to determine whether cancer has spread to other sites (metastasis), for example. 

By combining PET with computer imaging in this way, diagnosis of oncological diseases has improved. Doctors are also better able to determine how effective treatment is, helping them to reduce side effects in patients. 

Accessible services for Lithuanian patients

The PET equipment has been installed in a new building. The complex, which began operating at the beginning of 2015, is the most modern in Lithuania and the Baltics. 

Previously, similar equipment for testing and analysis was only available abroad. In some cases, patients suffering from cancer had to apply to foreign clinics for diagnostic procedures while their disease continued to progress. Precious time was lost for diagnosis and treatment.

Lithuanian residents now have faster, easier access to these services in their capital city. Public finances have also benefited from fewer state expenses for unnecessary examinations, operations and reimbursable medicines.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Foundation of Positron Emission Tomography Complex In PI Vilnius University Hospital Santariškių Klinikos” is EUR 3 979 914, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 3 382 927 through the “Promotion of Cohesion” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Quality and accessibility of public services: health, education and social infrastructure”.


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