News | June 16, 2009

SNM Image of the Year Shows Power of Nuclear Medicine to Fight Disease

June 16, 2009 - The SNM 2009 Image of the Year is an image depicting how radioimmunotherapy can successfully treat a potentially fatal type of lymphoma, which was presented at SNM’s 56th Annual Meeting June 13–17, 2009, in Toronto.

Radioimmunotherapy is a form of personalized medicine that combines the cancer-fighting ability of radiation therapy with the precise targeting capacity of immunotherapy. This year’s winning image comes from a study that examines two radioimmunotherapy agents and their effectiveness in treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The image is actually two sets of before-and-after PET scans of two patients. One patient was treated with Iodine-131 tositumomab (Bexxar). The other received Yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin). The PET images reveal that both patients showed no metabolically active NHL as early as three months after treatment.

“This image is really remarkable because it shows two positive benefits of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine at the same time,” said Henry N. Wagner Jr., SNM past president and professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, who annually selects the SNM Image of the Year from thousands presented at the Annual Meeting. “First, the PET scans demonstrate the power of radioimmunotherapy to fight advanced cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, this is proof of how PET scans are indispensable tools for managing patient care and determining whether treatments are working as intended.”

Each year, more than 66,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed in the United States, and more than 19,000 patients die of the disease annually. About 85 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphomas in adults are B-cell in origin. Currently, Bexxar and Zevalin are approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with CD20 antigen-expressing relapsed or refractory, low-grade, follicular or transformed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including patients with Rituximab-refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“Our study shows that both of these radioimmunotherapy agents are safe and effective in treating NHL, even for patients with extensive disease,” said Andrei Iagaru, instructor of nuclear medicine in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, Calif., and lead author of the study. “In fact, our study found that as many as 70 percent of patients had objective responses to the radioimmunotherapy, and about one third of the patients showed complete responses.”

The study followed 71 patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas who underwent treatment with either Bexxar or Zevalin. The results indicate that both drugs are safe and effective. Of the group of patients who received Bexxar, 24 of 35 patients responded to the drug. Of the group who received Zevalin, 28 of 36 responded to the treatment. Between the two groups of patients, 27 showed complete response to the drugs; however, not all patients in the study were helped by the radiopharmaceuticals. In 19 of the 71 patients, disease stayed the same or progressed despite the treatment.

“One question that a lot of researchers are asking is whether these results would be even better if NHL patients were allowed to receive radioimmunotherapy as a first-line treatment instead of having to wait until other therapies fail,” said Iagaru. “The patients in our study were all in advanced stages of disease. If they had received radioimmunotherapy treatment earlier, it’s possible that their responses would have been even stronger. This is the focus of future research projects.”

Scientific Poster 47, A. Iagaru; E. Mittra, M. Goris, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Calif.,“131I-tositumomab (Bexxar) vs. 90Y-ibritumomab (Zevalin) therapy of low grade refractory/relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” SNM’s 56th Annual Meeting, June 13–17, 2009.

For more information:

Related Content

PET Tracer Gauges Effectiveness of Promising Alzheimer's Treatment

Longitudinal PET imaging with 18F-AV45. PET imaging shows the average 18F-AV45 uptake per animal group at 8 and 13 months of age. A significant interaction of genotype treatment was observed in the cortex (p = 0.0248), hippocampus (p = 0.0071) and thalamus (p = 0.0084), indicating reduced [18F]-AV45 uptake in BACE1 inhibited transgenic mice. Credit: MICA, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | December 28, 2017
In the December featured basic science article in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Belgian researchers report on the...
Michael J. Fox Foundation and Tau Consortium Developing PET Tracers for Neurodegenerative Disease
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | October 27, 2017
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) and the Tau Consortium announced a funding partnership to...
SNMMI Publishes New FDG PET/CT Appropriate Use Criteria
News | PET-CT | October 25, 2017
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has published appropriate use criteria (AUC) for FDG PET/...
Majority of Recurrent Prostate Cancer Patients' Treatment Plan Changed Following Fluciclovine 18F PET/CT
News | Prostate Cancer | October 04, 2017
Blue Earth Diagnostics recently announced the results of a pre-planned interim analysis from an investigational...
Toshiba Highlights Latest CT Advancements at RSNA 2017
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 18, 2017
Toshiba Medical announced that it will display several new enhancements to its existing computed tomography (CT)...
Double Targeting Ligands to Identify and Treat Prostate Cancer

The mice were imaged with small-animal PET/CT using 124I-RPS-027 (7.4 MBq [200 μCi]). Credit: JM Kelly et al., Department of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

News | Prostate Cancer | September 14, 2017
Researchers have demonstrated a new, effective way to precisely identify and localize prostate cancer tumors while...
Blue Earth Diagnostics Announcing Results of FALCON PET/CT Trial at ASTRO 2017
News | PET-CT | September 13, 2017
September 13, 2017 — Blue Earth Diagnostics announced the upcoming oral presentation of initial results from the FALC
FDG-PET/CT Predicts Melanoma Patients' Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy
News | PET-CT | September 07, 2017
September 7, 2017 — Advanced melanoma has a poor prognosis, but immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy can be effective
Videos | Nuclear Imaging | August 24, 2017
Prem Soman, M.D., director of nuclear cardiology at the Heart and Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh, and p
ASNC and SNMMI Release Joint Document on Diagnosis, Treatment of Cardiac Sarcoidosis
News | Cardiac Imaging | August 18, 2017
August 18, 2017 — The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) has released a joint expert consensus document wi
Overlay Init