Bridging the ologies for personalized care

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Justine Cadet, Executive Editor

The SNM 2011 annual meeting, being held at the San Antonio Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Center in San Antonio from June 4 to 8, is bridging the ‘ologies, as nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are beginning to stretch their legs into multiple subspecialties, including neurology, cardiology, psychology, pharmacology and oncology—all of which are well represented in the program.

Each year, the annual meeting draws approximately 4,000 molecular imaging and nuclear imaging professionals. This year, the conference will feature more than 1,600 scientific papers and posters submitted by scientists, physicians, pharmacists and technologists. Also, more than 150 vendors will showcase and demonstrate technologically advanced molecular imaging and nuclear medicine equipment.

For instance, the Henry Wagner, Jr., lecture, will examine what role the new modality of PET/MRI may serve for a variety of disease states. And several physicians will discuss how the modalities match up in a comparative-effectiveness research review.

Due to its ability to bridge across the specialties, nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are on the forefront of "personalized medicine" by providing patient-specific information that allows tailored treatments and is helping to advance the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up on cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.

"Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging affects almost every single individual, even if they don't know it. If they personally haven't received a nuclear medicine procedure, it's almost certain a friend or family member has," said Dominique Delbeke, MD, PhD, SNM 2010-2011 president.

Through various sessions, seminars and clinical studies, the society said that the annual meeting seeks to increase its attendees’ “effectiveness” in:

  • Examining and evaluating future directions in nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and therapy from a research and clinical perspective.
  • Describing the latest indications and applications of fusion imaging and its impact on patient management.
  • Reviewing standard, new and relevant advances in oncology, cardiology and neurology applications.
  • Discussing new therapeutic and diagnostic agents that are impacting the practice of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.
  • Reviewing radiation dose and image quality in medical imaging.
  • Identifying clinical content that would be applicable to practice improvement.

In honor of the annual meeting, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has issued an official proclamation declaring "Nuclear and Molecular Imaging Week" in the city. "I thank Mayor Castro for his proclamation and for his recognition of the vital role nuclear medicine and molecular imaging plays in healthcare," Delbeke said.

Please watch for our daily coverage from this exciting annual meeting next week.

Justine Cadet