Feature: 2009 EANM sees record attendance

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The 2009 congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) saw an uptick in attendance by both delegates and industry representatives, according to 2009 EANM Congress President Joseph Martin-Comin, MD.

Martin-Comin spoke with TriMed Media about the success of the 2009 EANM congress, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, last week and was attended by more than 5,500 delegates from 60 countries.

“When we decided to begin, we were afraid of the isotope crisis but in the end the response of the industry was excellent,” he said. In comparison with previous years, “there was an increase of about 10 percent, increasing the number of participants by about 400,” Martin-Comin noted.

“Almost 2,000 abstracts were evaluated and 124 oral presentations were presented with continuing education courses,” Martin-Comin added.

The congress had four plenary sessions, two pre-congress meetings, 14 symposia, 550 oral presentations, 150 walking poster and almost 1000 regular poster sessions. The technologist program covered 124 oral presentations, with educational and training program. Oncology represented about 30 percent of the presentations, followed by 10  percent of cardiology, 10 percent neurology and therapy, in addition to radiopharmaceuticals.

EANM featured 13 CME sessions in three categories. There were a broad spectrum of topics (inflammation, cardiology, drug development, oncology and molecular imaging) and sessions with a clinical focus, which were complemented by the interactive sessions.

In additions to these highlights, Martin-Comin said that the industry exhibition of 3,079 square meters showcased the latest achievements in radiopharmaceuticals, as well as state-of-the-art equipment.

“GE made the world presentation of a new SPECT/CT gamma camera and a cardio-dedicated gamma camera. Other new equipment included PET/MRI cameras, a new gamma probe which combines gamma detection and fluid aspiration that may help in the detection of sentinel node,” he added.

Martin-Comin spoke enthusiastically on new developments in radiopharmaceuticals.

" The new radiopharmaceuticals mainly focused on PET radiotracers--early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease with F18-flumetazol was discussed in one pre-congress meeting. A new tracer for imaging the apoptotic process will be soon available for clinical practice which can evaluate response to therapy. Other possible tracers--still under basic research--were focused on breast, prostate and renal cancer diagnosis. The specific diagnostic and staging of neuroendocrine tumors with 68Ga radiotracers and the treatment with 90Y or 177Lu radiopharmaceuticals and the possibility of using 99mTc-labelled tracers for the detection of osteoarthitis and liver regeneration were presented."

The plenary session discussed future perspectives in all fields of nuclear medicine. The Marie Curie lecture, "Diagnosing Early Atherothrombotic Disease in the 21st Century," was given by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, cardiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The 2010 EANM congress will be held in Vienna, Austria.