Molecular imaging takes top billing at 2007 SNM meeting

June 1, 2007

The Society of Nuclear Medicine anticipates highlights galore at its upcoming 54th annual meeting in Washington, DC. But no other topic will receive more attention this year than the continuing integration of molecular imaging into the day-to-day doings of nuclear medicine specialists. Congress even declared the week of June 3 as Molecular Imaging Week to raise awareness on the emerging field.

The Society of Nuclear Medicine anticipates highlights galore at its upcoming 54th annual meeting in Washington, DC. But no other topic will receive more attention this year than the continuing integration of molecular imaging into the day-to-day doings of nuclear medicine specialists. Congress even declared the week of June 3 as Molecular Imaging Week to raise awareness on the emerging field.

"The society has been working on delineating a pathway for molecular imaging toward the clinical practice of nuclear medicine," said Dr. Frederic Fahey, chair of the SNM scientific program committee.

The society will host a Molecular Imaging Gateway as part of the exhibit hall. There, entities involved in molecular imaging research, such as the National Institutes of Health and universities, will have a chance to showcase their achievements in the field.

The meeting will also feature several plenary sessions and symposia on this topic:

  • Four categorical seminars on Saturday, June 2. Topics range from SPECT/CT and its role in quantitative molecular imaging to molecular imaging of the brain, multimodality molecular imaging, and molecular imaging and cancer therapy.

  • Henry Wagner Annual Lecture on Sunday morning. John C. Gore, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, will deliver a presentation on molecular imaging without radionuclides.

  • Cassen Lectureship on Monday morning. Dr. James Thrall, chief of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, will talk on the role of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in the 21st century.

The molecular imaging discussion will spread throughout the meeting across multiple subfields, such as instrumentation, development of new radiopharmaceuticals, basic science, and the transition of molecular imaging research into the clinical environment, according to Fahey.

As in previous meetings, hybrid imaging will turn some heads. This year will see a significant move toward newer hybrid imaging modalities such as PET/MR. While hybrid imaging applications have focused on oncology until recently, attendees will be able this year to find several preliminary papers on PET/CT applications in areas such as cardiology and neuroscience. Presentations will devote time to discussing new radiopharmaceuticals for PET/CT of neurodegenerative diseases, Fahey said.

"There will be a discussion of Pittsburgh Compound B and its role in the evaluation of Alzheimer's disease patients," he said.

About 4000 professional attendees and 180 vendors will meet at this year's show. More than 60 educational sessions will be dedicated to training nuclear medicine physicians and technologists in imaging modalities beyond nuclear medicine. For the third consecutive year, the technologist section will run a workshop to help bring its membership up to speed in the workings of CT.

Another new aspect of the SNM meeting this year will be INFO SNM, which will focus on the use of information technology as it applies to molecular imaging and nuclear medicine specifically.

"For a long time computers have been important, but there hasn't always been a venue within our meeting where people could show the kind of work that they are doing," Fahey said.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Novel PET agent breaks through in Alzheimer's diagnosis

Research shows how MRI and PET/CT can work together in cancer assessments

G250 PET characterizes clear-cell renal carcinoma

Experts pinpoint benefits of hybrid systems in cancer

Are nuclear medicine and molecular imaging synonymous?