Medical advances, new discoveries highlighted at Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting

06/09/05

Physicians, technologists, scientists explore molecular imaging, present research highlights, show specialty in a global context, examine terrorism June 18–22 in Toronto

RESTON, Va.--Molecular/nuclear imaging professionals share scientific advances and new discoveries in treating and diagnosing a host of diseases at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18–22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

More than 4,000 physicians, technologists, scientists and pharmacists are expected to attend and hear the most recent discoveries about cancer; heart, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases; drug addiction; epilepsy; bulimia; trauma; obesity; athletic injuries; and cystic fibrosis. The medical research news released at this annual conference affects everyone--the young and the old, women, men, teens and children.

SNM is the largest scientific organization dedicated to molecular imaging/nuclear medicine, with more than 16,000 members who are physicians, technologists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists. The meeting features more than 1,600 scientific papers and posters and more than 170 manufacturers who showcase and demonstrate the most technologically advanced molecular/nuclear imaging equipment. SNM and SNMTS present 98 continuing education courses focusing on PET/CT, cardiovascular nuclear medicine, brain imaging, pediatrics, oncology and therapy, thyroid cancer, coding and reimbursement. More than 1,600 scientific, technologist and technologist-student abstracts will be presented, as well as 88 scientific, 4 technologist and 4 technologist-student oral sessions. The annual meeting provides numerous news opportunities ranging from scientific presentations to poster sessions and technical exhibits to a press conference.

The session, "Terrorism Using Radioactive Materials: What Nuclear Medicine Professionals Should Know," from 4:30–6 p.m. on Monday, June 20, will be of interest to reporters. In this seminar, possible types of terrorist attacks using dirty bombs will be reviewed, and general recommendations regarding their management will be discussed. The health, economic and psychological impact of an attack with dirty bombs will be summarized, and the roles and actions of first responders will be described. The indications for and the effectiveness of treatment for internal contamination will be discussed, along with the steps that need to be taken to prepare hospitals for terrorist events involving radioactive materials. The session, which is designed for physicians, scientists and technologists who are likely to be called on to help if a terrorist event involving radioactive materials occurs in their locale, is co-moderated by SNM past presidents Henry D. Royal, M.D., a co-team leader of the health effects section of the IAEA's International Chernobyl Project and a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, and Jonathan M. Links, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Also of special interest to reporters are the following presentations:

Sunday, June 19

8:30 a.m.–10 a.m.
Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Molecular Imaging Center at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., will focus on the current status of molecular imaging and provide a glimpse into the future of this exciting field.

10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Kathleen Passanisi, an expert in the field of therapeutic humor and its impact on health and morale, will provide an enlivening program at the SNM Technologist Section's plenary session, enlightening attendees on how to reduce stress, improve well-being, enhance creativity and make life at home and work more fun.

Monday, June 20

9:45 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Michael D. Devous Sr., Ph.D., professor of radiology, radiological sciences and bioengineering and associate director of the Nuclear Medicine Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, discusses "The Role of Nuclear Medicine in the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disorders."

10:30 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Barry Straube, M.D., the acting director of the office of clinical standards and quality of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provides an update on "Emerging Themes in Medicare Coverage of Imaging Technologies."

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
SNM's press conference features the latest information on Alzheimer's disease, cancer research and heart disease. Henry N. Wagner Jr., M.D., director of the division of radiation health sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., will announce his pick for the annual Image of the Year, an image that illustrates a direction he sees nuclear medicine heading in a dynamic and ever-expanding field.

Tuesday, June 21

9:45 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Angelika Bischof Delaloye, M.D., of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, will present the ongoing activities, problems and needs of nuclear medicine on a global scale.

Wednesday, June 22

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Henry N. Wagner Jr., M.D., professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., will once more discuss what's on the horizon for the molecular/nuclear imaging profession during his annual Highlights Lecture. In this session--a 28-year tradition--Wagner summarizes current trends in molecular/nuclear imaging and the meeting's significant findings in a 90-minute presentation.

"The society offers an exciting program in Toronto presenting basic, translational and clinical research in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging for medical practitioners, technologists, scientists, physicists and pharmacists from around the world," said SNM President Mathew L. Thakur, Ph.D. "The program also includes future directions in molecular imaging, novel findings from applications of positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (CT) and their impact on patient management, reminding us that molecular/nuclear imaging research in diagnosis and treatment knows no borders," he added.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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