Message from the President

October 10, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

In honor of Nuclear Medicine Week, which we observed earlier this month, I would like to recognize each one of SNMMI’s members for the services you provide for patients, whether it be researching new tracers, performing molecular imaging scans, or delivering radiopharmaceutical therapies. You help to make our field great, and SNMMI is dedicated to supporting you.

Here’s what the society has been working on over the past few months.

SNMMI Therapeutics Conference. On September 21-23, SNMMI hosted its 2023 Therapeutics Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference was a tremendous success, with nearly 350 nuclear medical professionals in attendance. The program included an outstanding line-up of speakers who discussed topics such as dosimetry, clinical trials and disease-specific radiopharmaceutical therapies. The meeting received exceptional reviews from attendees, with several saying this was the best therapeutics conference they had ever attended. Thank you to the conference co-chairs, Phillip Koo, MD, and Hossein Jadvar, MD, PhD, for organizing such a wonderful event.

Global Collaboration. Over the past few months, I have traveled around the world for SNMMI to collaborate with global leaders on ways to advance the field of nuclear medicine. I attended the 20th Biennial Congress of the South African Society of Nuclear Medicine in Gqeberha and Pretoria, South Africa. In Pretoria, I was able to tour the under-construction NuMeRi facility, which will provide enabling support for health care research and development by South African researchers. This one-stop-shop medical imaging facility will be dedicated to drug development and clinical research, with five floors of preclinical, clinical, research and manufacturing capabilities.

Drs. Mike Sathekge, Helen Nadel and Stuart More

I also attended the World Molecular Imaging Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) Congress in Vienna, Austria, as well as the Nuclear Medicine Global Initiative Meeting, which was held during the EANM Congress. It is through these collaborative meetings that SNMMI continues to strengthen relationships with those in the nuclear medicine field so that together we can plan for a strong future.

Advocacy Efforts. SNMMI has been exceptionally busy on the advocacy front, providing comments to government agencies and working with industry to ensure an adequate supply of radiopharmaceuticals. Last month, SNMMI and the American College of Nuclear Medicine (ACNM) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed rules for the 2024 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). Additionally, SNMMI provided comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on patient release and extravasation and voiced its support for CMS proposed changes to beta amyloid PET coverage.

In August, Lantheus informed SNMMI that it had decided to discontinue production of Azedra (iobenguane I-131), its FDA-approved therapy for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. SNMMI is working with industry partners to continue the production of this radiopharmaceutical therapy so that it can be available for patients.

Lastly (and of particular note, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month), SNMMI is working to include molecular breast imaging in the Find It Early Act, a bill introduced on the Hill to ensure all health insurance plans cover screening and diagnostic breast imaging with no cost-sharing.

Quality. SNMMI issued an updated statement on COVID-19 and V/Q lung studies in September 2023 to ensure patient and staff safety. Shortly afterward, the FDA approved the imaging agent Technegas for use in ventilation-perfusion studies to diagnose pulmonary embolism and other respiratory pathologies, which should enhance the accuracy, workflow, and patient comfort for these studies. SNMMI also issued a consensus statement on the use of Lu-177 and a joint consensus statement with EANM and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine for PET/MRI in oncology.

Mid-Winter and Annual Meeting Planning. The SNMMI Mid-Winter and ACNM Annual Meeting will be held February 1-3, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. The meeting will feature three educational tracks highlighting the latest innovations and techniques in the field, including a dedicated track on therapeutics. The abstracts deadline is October 20, and early-bird registration for the meeting will open soon.

The SNMMI 2024 Annual Meeting will also be here before we know it, and SNMMI will head to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on June 8-11. SNMMI’s Scientific Program Committee is already hard at work building an event that will provide an in-depth view of the latest research and development in the field and insights into practical applications for the clinic.

Best wishes,

Helen R. Nadel, MD, FRCPC, FSNMMI
SNMMI President