May 31, 2007 - The week of June 3 has been declared “Molecular Imaging Week,” which coincides with SNM’s 54th Annual Meeting. In addition, the District of Columbia issued a “letter of welcome” to SNM for holding the world’s largest event for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals in the city.
In a statement in the Congressional Record, Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA-8th) said, “Molecular imaging and therapy procedures provide safe, painless and cost-effective techniques to image the body and treat disease. These procedures are crucial in the early diagnosis of cancer, renal disease, cardiac disease and Alzheimer’s. Imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease—long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. The techniques that are used in molecular imaging include radiotracer imaging/nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), optical imaging, the PET scan, ultrasound and others.” Moran urged his colleagues “to join me in supporting policies that will continue to keep our nation on the cutting edge of molecular imaging research.”
He says further, “Molecular imaging offers unique insights that allow a more targeted approach to evaluation and management of heart disease. It also plays a pivotal role in guiding the management of cancer: diagnosis, staging (extent and location), assessing therapeutic targets, monitoring therapy and evaluating prognosis, and is playing an increasingly significant role in conditions such as tumors, dementias (Alzheimer’s and others), movement disorders, seizures disorders and psychiatric disorders.”
In addition, “Molecular imaging delivers on the promise of ‘personalized medicine’—it can provide patient-specific information that allows tailored treatment of disease. It can show a precise (molecular) level of detail that provides new information for diagnosis. It is also key to the development of pharmaceuticals and genetic therapy. Molecular therapy can target molecules that deliver the therapeutic agent directly to the site of interest, bypassing normal tissue and avoiding the toxic side effects of many current therapies.”
The Virginia representative said that more than 4,000 individuals would be attending “the world’s largest event focused exclusively on the fields of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.” The congressman noted that more than 20 million people require molecular/nuclear medicine procedures each year. These procedures include PET scans to diagnose and monitor treatment of cancer, diagnose neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s and stroke, cardiac stress tests, bone scans and follow-up for breast and prostate cancer patients and lung scans for blood clots.
Moran noted that SNM created the Molecular Imaging Center of Excellence, an organizational component of the society that is dedicated to all aspects of molecular imaging in the detection and management of disease.
District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty noted that “more than 4,000 physicians, scientists, physicists and pharmacists will attend this meeting to discuss issues of concern to revolutionize modern medicine for patients through the use of molecular imaging and therapy.” He added, “SNM, the leading professional association for molecular and nuclear imaging and therapy, has 16,000 members across the world who are dedicated to improving patient care.”