Molecular Imaging Insider

Dear Molecular Imaging Insider,

The annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) wrapped up last week, and although this has traditionally been a North America-based meeting, research from Europe loomed large in the online proceedings.

Most notably, a study by German researchers was named Image of the Year -- the second year in a row that a group from Germany has won this honor. Their set of images focused on results from two PET radiotracers that detect buildup of tau and amyloid -- known precursors of Alzheimer's disease.

The group examined radiotracer uptake on PET scans to discover evidence of what they called "super-agers" -- individuals in their 80s who had less tau and amyloid deposition on PET images than their counterparts of the same age, who either had normal cognition or only had mild cognitive impairment.

In other news from SNMMI 2020, researchers from London examined the use of PET and SPECT for skeletal metastases, which they believe could offer improvements over traditional bone scintigraphy and cross-sectional imaging.

In particular, they believe that SPECT can more accurately localize metabolically active foci and characterize them, reducing equivocal reports and allowing reliable identification of degenerative disease. Meanwhile, PET has better spatial resolution compared with SPECT, and there are a variety of both bone-specific and nonspecific radiotracers.

Farther afield, a group from Italy showed how FDG-PET/CT can detect breast cancer metastases predicted by elevated tumor marker values in asymptomatic patients who have already undergone locoregional treatment.

And FDG-PET/CT can be an effective tool when it comes to breast cancer staging and treatment evaluation, but it still shouldn't be used for diagnosis, according to a Spanish researcher speaking at the European Society for Hybrid, Molecular, and Translational Imaging (ESHIMT) meeting in May.

Almost all medical conferences have been taking place on a virtual basis recently -- including SNMMI 2020 and last week's European Congress of Radiology -- but at least one society hopes to hold its meeting in person this year. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has reaffirmed that its annual congress will take place onsite at the Austria Center Vienna from 17 to 21 October -- and if Europe continues to show progress in keeping COVID-19 numbers down, these plans may come to fruition.

This newsletter highlights only a few of the reports posted recently in the Molecular Imaging Community. For the full list, see the lineup below.

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