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Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear Imaging

Researchers in the radiation oncology department at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have received a $14 million grant to develop countermeasures that will help treat damage caused by radiological or nuclear threats such as a dirty bomb attack.

Radiation in any form brings risk. Medical radiation as a screening, diagnostic or treatment tool is designed with safeguards in mind to minimize the risk and maximize the benefit of the test or treatment. For instance, if a patient presents with a breast lump that can be felt but not viewed with mammography or ultrasound, medical professionals must employ the most appropriate diagnostic tools that identify potential cancer.

Some nuclear-based breast imaging exams may increase a woman’s risk of developing radiation-induced cancer, according to a special report appearing online and in the October issue of Radiology. However, the radiation dose and risk from mammography are very low.

A commonly used probe for PET scanning and a new probe developed by researchers at UCLA reveal different functions in diverse cells of the immune system, providing a much clearer picture of an immune response in action.

The annual joint scientific meeting of the Singapore Radiological Society and the College of Radiologists, Singapore, was expanded this year to include the Singapore General Hospital nuclear medicine update. This allowed a greater inclusion of topics pertaining to nuclear medicine and radiation oncology, with the theme of the meeting being “imaging and therapy in the area of molecular medicine.”

The 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Singapore Radiological Society was jointly organized with the College of Radiologists, Singapore, from Feb. 25 through 28. I have attended this meeting the past three years as it gives me ample opportunity to interact with my colleagues and feel the pulse of radiology in and around the region. Each year, the focus is on a hot topic, and this year’s topic was nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

It’s not enough that sidelined nuclear reactors are restricting the supply of technetium for cardiac SPECT. Or that reimbursements for SPECT procedures are falling. Now the besieged modality has to contend with a challenge from CT.

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