IMG_5055 More than 5,000 physicians, technologists, scientists, and exhibitors gathered at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s (SNMMI) 2015 annual meeting, held June 6-10 in Baltimore. This year welcomed more than 100 continuing education sessions, more than 2,000 scientific papers and posters, and more than 165 companies represented on the exhibit hall floor.

This year’s meeting included a new pre-meeting symposium on best practices for medical internal radiation doses. It provided an update on the current status of radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) with a particular emphasis on the key role played by dosimetry. According to the society, RPT, or therapeutic nuclear medicine, is an underutilized modality with great potential; dosimetry can provide guidelines for safer and more effective treatment planning, in addition to providing insight into tumor dose-response relations.

François Bénard, MD, BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging Professor and Head, Division of Nuclear Medicine Department of Radiology- University of British Columbia.

François Bérnard, MD, BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging Professor and Head, Division of Nuclear Medicine Department of Radiology- University of British Columbia.

The annual meeting officially opened with the SNMMI plenary session, when François Bernard presented a lecture titled “Accelerating Nuclear Medicine with Cylotron-Produced 99mTc.” With current reliance on aging international reactors for a supply of this most commonly used medical radionuclide, the development of a domestic, reliable source is critical. Later that day, Rosemary Gibson from the Hastings Center presented “The Human Face of Quality and Patient Safety” at the SNMMI Technologist Section plenary.

Along with quality and safety, research advances was a constant theme throughout the meeting. At the press conference, the new president of SNMMI, Hossein Jadvar, discussed the society’s continued focus on quality of care and patient safety. The society’s Department of Evidence and Quality is developing evidence-based, appropriate use criteria for procedures, beginning with those most frequently ordered. “The development of appropriate use criteria will help establish standards—greatly benefiting patients,” Jadvar said.

Jadvar also announced the creation of a Therapy Center of Excellence, which will bring together a multidisciplinary group of experts in targeted radionuclide therapy. This group will assist in the development of emerging agents, provide advocacy for regulatory approval, and advance the use of approved agents. “We have entered the frontier of personalized and precision medicine, and we are the pioneers,” Jadvar said. “I cannot imagine a more exciting time to be in the nuclear medicine field.”

SNMMI has made many of the annual meeting sessions available online through its Virtual Meeting, so that those who could not attend can still benefit and earn credits (CME, ACPE, and VOICE) for advancing their knowledge and expertise. The Virtual Meeting captured 100 of the most popular sessions, featuring more than 150 hours of content from the opening plenary through the Highlights Session, plus the molecular imaging, radiopharmaceutical, and data and instrumentation basic science summary sessions.

The SNMMI 2016 annual meeting will take place June 11-15 in San Diego. For more information, visit SNMMI.

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