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Emerging Innovations in Molecular Imaging

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In interviews at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) conference, researchers discussed the potential impact of ultra-high resolution brain positron emission tomography (PET) as well as emerging PET radiotracers for detecting coronary artery disease in obese patients and diagnosing clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Can a new positron emission tomography (PET) agent enhance the diagnosis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC)? Could ultra-high resolution brain PET reinvent neuroimaging? Can an emerging PET radiotracer facilitate earlier detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) in obese patients?

Researchers considered these questions and more when discussing a few of the innovations emerging from research presented at the recent Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) conference.

Krishna Patel, MD discussed key advantages with 18F-flurpiridaz that may expand access to stress cardiac PET myocardial perfusion imaging and facilitate detection of CAD in obese patients.

In addition to higher sensitivity and specificity rates in comparison to the use of 99mTc-SPECT in obese patients, 18F-flurpiridaz offers unit dose availability and a longer half-life (110 minutes) than other PET perfusion tracer agents, according to Dr. Patel, director of cardiac PET at Mount Sinai Morningside in New York City.

Recent research revealed an 87 percent sensitivity rate and a 100 percent positive predictive value for positive scans with 89ZR-DFO-girentuximab in the diagnosis of ccRCC, pointed out Jeremie Calais, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor at the Ahmanson Translational Theranostics Division of the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

(Editor's note: To catch up on other innovations and research presented at the SNMMI 2023 conference, visit https://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conferences/snmmi .)

Roger Lecomte, Ph.D., emphasized that ultra-high resolution brain PET offers a level of characterization and quantification of brain regions significantly beyond that of whole-body PET.

“The spatial resolution is a factor of two better than HRRT (high resolution research tomograph) and a factor of three better than any clinical scanners today. It’s a quantum leap in terms of spatial resolution,” said Dr. Lecomte, a professor of nuclear medicine and radiobiology at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada.

For more insights from Drs. Calais, Patel and Lecomte, watch the video below.

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