SNM 06 Wrap-up
Society of Nuclear Medicine | June 3-7, San Diego

SNM broadens focus, launches awareness campaign

Almost 4,000 members of the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community gathered at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in San Diego focused on the expanding applications of PET, SPECT and SPECT/CT, PET/CT in oncology, cardiology and neurology.

At the meeting, the association announced a widening of its scope to officially encompass molecular imaging and treatment, said President Peter Conti, MD, PhD. Part of this is a "significant rebranding" campaign SNM launched called the "Bench to Bedside" campaign that looks to increase awareness of the expanding role of molecular imaging in 21st century patient care and to ensure that the medical community is well prepared to adopt this technology. The campaign seeks to raise $5 million over 5 years to support education, research, and advocacy efforts in advancing molecular imaging. It also has $2.26 million toward that goal.

The program, which will be carried out jointly with the Education and Research Foundation (ERF) for SNM, will fund outreach activities to referring physicians and patient groups; support translational clinical studies and small innovative trials; and offer research grants and fellowships to advance new medical developments.

IHE adds image profile to link PET/CT and PACS

The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative at SNM announced the release of a new Image Fusion Profile that enables the display of fused PET and CT images on PACS displays. The profile, currently published for "trial implementation," allows images to move to PACS rather than just be reviewed on dedicated PET workstations.

The Image Fusion Profile is part of the Nuclear Medicine Profile, for which a revised profile was published in May, that specifies how nuclear medicine systems and PACS should interact when dealing with nuclear medicine data.

The Image Fusion Profile also addresses the ability to convey registered data from one system to another for further processing, storage and display.

GE develops 1st PET imaging agent to track angiogenesis

GE Healthcare at SNM announced the launch of the a first-in-man clinical study designed to validate information provided by a molecular imaging agent in evaluating the extent and nature of cancer.

This proprietary positron emission tomography (PET) agent has a biological mechanism to track the process of angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels in the body. A molecular imaging agent that binds to the process of angiogenesis in the body could help physicians identify the location and growth patterns of tumors.

SPECT/CT image earns 'Image of the Year'

A fused SPECT/CT image that captures both the coronary arteries and blood flow to the heart by researchers at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland was awarded the Image of the Year at SNM. The award is chosen annually by SNM Past President and Historian Henry Wagner Jr., MD.

The image, which fused a dual-head SPECT with a 64-slice CT, is part of the study "Comparison of 64-Slice Spiral CT Angiography and Myocardial Perfusion Imaging in Noninvasive Evaluation of Functionally Relevant Coronary Stenoses." It illustrates the "complementary nature" of two imaging modalities to show coronary anatomy and blood flow to the heart, Wagner said. He noted that the choice of a SPECT/CT image demonstrates its growing clinical significance, this time in addressing heart disease. A PET/CT image won last year.

The study from which the collaborated image was selected was completed on a LightSpeed VCT 64-slice CT with myocardial perfusion imaging using Tc-99m tetrofosmin-SPECT via the Millennium VG Series Hawkeye. Both of the units are made by GE Healthcare.

Clinical Studies

Here are a variety of clinical studies presented at SNM. To read the full text of the stories, click here. Also available there is a summary of new products, applications and enhancements from vendors debuting at the meeting.