Bringing science to practice

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Sarah Lamberti, Associate Editor

At the 94th scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) last week in Chicago, molecular imaging made, to borrow a phrase from RSNA President Theresa McCloud, MD, an “impressive and essential presence” with a variety of presentations promoting its applicability in day-to-day clinical practice.

One conference highlight was the call for a practice extender—the nuclear medicine advanced associate—to assist physicians with radiopharmaceutical administration, perform stress tests and order complementary exams. In addition, the ongoing partnership of radiology and molecular imaging was featured in Monday’s keynote lecture on nanoparticle imaging, which many believe could usher in a new era of cancer imaging and therapy, although the first applications are more likely in cardiac imaging. As Michael J. Welch, PhD, told attendees, “one of the major applications of imaging in the next decade isn’t going to be just to say, ‘Does this person have a tumor or does this person have a metastasis?’ It’s going to be ‘What do we know about the receptors on the tumor, the molecular target on the tumor, that one can target with specific drugs?”

Scientific sessions confirming the efficacy of FDG-PET for imaging cancer also were of interest to our readers, as was a scintillating oration on virtual colonography by Elizabeth McFarland, MD, that outlined the significant advancements, yet lingering reimbursement challenges, to establishing standards and low compliance by the screening population. One victory of note was the passage this year of multi-society clinical guidelines.

The ongoing controversy over cardiac CT angiography (CCTA) gained more attention with news from outside the conference, via an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting that evidence for CCTA might not yet warrant widespread reimbursement for the procedure.

While our readers chose these as the Top 10 most-read stories, check out our full RSNA 360° coverage that includes pre-show technology previews on 18 categories, daily news from the meeting and news recaps of educational sessions and new products debuting at the meeting throughout the month of December at RSNA360.HealthImaging.com.

Sarah Lamberti, Associate News Editor
slamberti@trimedmedia.com