SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting: Research brings new world of diagnosing, treating illness

Advances in molecular imaging/medicine that affect understanding, diagnosing, treating diseases will be presented June 3–7 at San Diego Convention Center

RESTON, Va.--A biological and technological evolution in imaging has allowed the examination of the molecular root of diseases and the exploration of new paths for managing and treating illnesses--and many of these scientific breakthroughs will be reported during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 at the San Diego Convention Center.

More than 4,000 physicians, technologists, scientists and pharmacists from around the world will attend this premier meeting, the world's largest event for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals. SNM--an international, multidisciplinary society of more than 16,000 physician, technologist and scientist members in 78 countries--recognizes the critical role for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine in future patient care for diagnosis, for predicting treatment response and for monitoring treatment response and individual treatment plans. "The potential of molecular imaging/nuclear medicine for providing new insights, treatments and diagnostic methods is limitless and will significantly impact the health care of patients with cancer, heart disease, stroke or debilitating neurological conditions over the next 5, 10 and more years," said SNM President Peter S. Conti, professor of radiology, clinical pharmacy and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. "The research presented at SNM's Annual Meeting will enable physicians to define disease in individual patients by relating location, function, structure and biochemistry," said Conti, director of the PET Imaging Science Center at USC's Keck School of Medicine.

"At this meeting, imaging specialists will be able to explore coming opportunities and challenges as modern medicine technology advances," said SNM Technologist Section President Valerie R. Cronin, vice president of imaging services in the Catholic Health System of Western New York in Buffalo.

Nearly 2,000 scientific and technologist abstracts will be presented at this meeting covering a wide range of topics including cardiology (ischemia, coronary artery stenosis, coronary angiography); neurology (Alzheimer's, overweight, dementia, ADHD, schizophrenia, acupuncture, smoking, cocaine use, anorexia nervosa); oncology (pancreas, breast, lung cancers, leukemia, chemotherapy response); pediatrics (Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma); infectious disease (fever of unknown origin, hip prosthesis, knee arthroplasty); computers and instrumentation; endocrinology (diabetes, hyperthyroidism); musculoskeletal (spinal tuberculosis, back pain); and technologist issues related to radiation safety, contrast agents, psychological aspects of dealing with patients, radiopharmaceutical uses and imaging of claustrophobic patients.

On June 3, 11 categorical seminars, developed by members of SNM's various councils and centers of excellence, will be presented. These include "Diagnosis and Management of Breast Cancer: Current Practice and New Frontiers," "Biomarkers in Central Nervous System," "Molecular Imaging and Therapy and the NIH Roadmap: Perspectives and Potential," "PET/CT in Oncology: Focus on the Referring Physician: What Does Your Referring Physician Want from PET/CT?" "PET/CT Scanners: What's Available and How They Work," "Expanding the Use of Nuclear Cardiology: Advances in Radionuclide Imaging and Integration with Other Developing Image Modalities," "Pediatric Oncology: From Bench to Bedside and Beyond," "New Horizons in Oncology and Neurology," "Opportunities and Challenges in Modern Medicine Technology," "PET/CT: An Atlas in Application in Technology" and "Cardiology: A Comprehensive Look at Nuclear Medicine Today."

Also on June 3, the National Cancer Institute sponsors "Use of PET/CT in the Clinic and Clinical Trials: Quantification for Change Analysis," with Barbara Croft, program director for NCI's cancer imaging program. This session will be of interest to those performing or planning clinical trials using the quantitative capabilities of PET/CT, clinicians in a number of medical imaging subspecialties, medical physicists and technologists interested in the delivery of high-quality quantitative PET/CT examinations.

In addition, the educational and scientific program at the 53rd Annual Meeting is tailored to provide attendees with the most current and important information available in the field. SNM and SNMTS present about 100 continuing education courses focusing on PET/CT, cardiovascular nuclear medicine, brain imaging, pediatrics, oncology and therapy, thyroid cancer and radiation safety. Members of SNM's Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and Computer and Instrumentation councils will present two 90-minute basic science summary sessions highlighting the most important science. These sessions provide a summary of ongoing research and place them in context of the future of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine. A "Meet the Author" poster session will be divided into six 45-minute time slots June 4–6. This year, one session will provide a look at events in Chernobyl in the former USSR (now the Ukraine) on the 20th anniversary of that city's nuclear power accident.

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To register for the conference, visit the SNM Web site at www.snm.org/am. Press registration is complimentary to credentialed media. For press registration only, contact Maryann Verrillo at (703) 708-9000, ext. 1211, or mverrillo@snm.org. Press representatives may also register online at www.snm.org/am. SNM will hold a press conference on June 5 from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. featuring an overview of the latest research and discoveries in the world of molecular imaging/nuclear medicine. New applications in oncology, neurology and cardiology will be discussed. Also at this press conference, the 2006 Image of the Year will be announced.

About SNM
SNM is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of molecular and nuclear imaging to diagnose, manage and treat diseases in women, men and children. Founded more than 50 years ago, SNM continues to provide essential resources for health care practitioners and patients; publish the most prominent peer-reviewed resource in the field; sponsor research grants, fellowships and awards; host the premier annual meeting for medical imaging; and train physicians, technologists, scientists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists in state-of-the-art imaging procedures and advances. SNM members have introduced--and continue to explore--biological and technological innovations in medicine that noninvasively investigate the molecular basis of diseases, benefiting countless generations of patients. SNM is based in Reston, Va.; additional information can be found online at http://www.snm.org.


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The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
-- Voltaire