SNM broadens focus to molecular imaging, launches awareness campaign

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Almost 4,000 members of the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community gathered this week 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. Through a blending of these technologies, physicians seek to move from treating illness to promoting health through efficient prevention, accurate diagnosis and personalized therapy. This means earlier disease detection and forecasting and tracking the effectiveness of drug therapy thanks to viewing anatomical and functional detail at the cellular level.

The association also announced a widening of its scope to officially encompass molecular imaging and treatment, said President Peter Conti, MD, PhD on Monday. 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. SNM got a jump-start on that goal with contributions from GE Healthcare, Siemens Medical Solutions, Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging, Philips Medical Systems and FluoroPharma together totaling $2.26 million. Leadership donations from SNM and ERF members reached $50,000 prior to the campaign's announcement, according to the society.

The campaign seeks to “allow significant molecular imaging discoveries made by scientists at lab benches to be translated into practice so that they can be used by physicians,” SNM said. 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.

“We need to ensure that the medical community is well prepared to adopt these molecular imaging technologies,” Conti said.For more information about the Bench to Bedside campaign, visit snm.org.