- Clinical Services
Innovation from beginning to end
The Champalimaud Clinical Centre provides a whole range of diagnostic methods and interventional radiology procedures.
Diagnostics And Therapeutics
Diagnosis, staging, monitoring and intervention
Imaging methods are currently an essential tool for cancer characterisation and staging, and also for the study and evaluation of the response to the treatments performed. This is a complex and highly technological area, which includes, among others, the following modalities:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - Also used for obtaining bi- and tri-dimensional images, MRI is based on the application of very strong magnetic fields and radiowave technology in order to collect the information needed for generating images about the structure and anatomical composition of the organs of the human body, including the central nervous system.
CT - Useful for obtaining bi- and tri-dimensional images of anatomical structures of the human body following the computer processing of the information collected from an X-ray beam by a set of high-precision rotating detectors (360º). It reconstructs that data to provide multiple images in different planes and orientations.
Interventional radiology - Minimally invasive procedures that, under the guidance of images obtained through different imaging techniques, enable diagnostic acts such as guided biopsies or treatments aimed at the localised destruction of tumours, as well as intra-arterial or intra-tumoural administration of drugs that actively kill cancer cells. This field of clinical applications requires highly specialised radiologists and can even, in certain circumstances, replace complex surgical acts.
Mammogram and breast ultrasound - Radiology and ultrasound modalities specially adapted to the study of breast pathology.
Bone densitometry - Allows the evaluation of the mineral content of bone tissue through very low-dose X-ray emissions. Not only is it a useful technique for the study of osteoporosis, but also as a way to evaluate the impact on bone structure of different modalities of oncologic treatment.
Ultrasound - Based on ultrasound technology for the production of images of organs such as the liver, the kidneys, and the musculoskeletal system.
Conventional radiology - Designed to obtain images of the skeleton and the lungs through direct detection of beams emitted by an X-ray source.
In 2016, the Radiology Service was reinforced with the installation of high-field (3T) clinical Magnetic Resonance equipment and of a spectral tomodensitometry (spectral CT) machine, the only one at that time in the Iberian Peninsula. The new MRI equipment, apart from representing an added value in multiple diagnostic areas, such as the central nervous system, breast pathology, and the study of the urogenital system, establishes a direct connection with the Pre-Clinical MR Laboratory, facilitating the clinical application of new methodologies and affording perspectives for the multidisciplinary study of cognitive function. Furthermore, by being faster, reducing radiation exposure, and being more precise for the diagnosis and staging of oncological diseases, spectral CT also opens new ways for research on quantitative parameters.
Accelerating knowledge transfer for clinical imaging
The Radiology Service team regularly collaborates with the Pre-Clinical MR Laboratory at Champalimaud Research, thus allowing a rapid transfer of pre-clinical knowledge into medical practice. There are several ongoing studies of MR lymph node characterisation in patients with different types of cancer.
To meet the pressing need to develop, validate and bring into clinical practice new quantitative imaging biomarkers, a computational clinical imaging group, led by scientist and biomedical engineer Dr. Nickolaos Papanikolaou, was formed with the aim of creating new methodologies for tissue characterisation, for the definition of relapse risk in terms of diagnosis and prognosis, and also for a more rigorous evaluation of the responses to treatments.