Scientific Director delivers SNM opening plenary lecture

June 14, 2009 CPDC

HAMILTON: JUNE 14, 2009 –Challenging times are shaping the future of molecular imaging probe development and nuclear medicine, according to the CPDC’s John Valliant.

Valliant, PhD, scientific director and CEO at the CPDC, spoke at the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Toronto on June 14, 2009, where he urged scientists to be innovative and not to rely on already established approaches and targets. He pointed to the current and most pressing challenge — the world isotope shortage — and the potential to alleviate such shortages in the long term by creating a redundant supply of isotopes through the development of new imaging probes.

Speaking to more than 1,500 scientists, physicians, technicians and policy makers from Canada and around the world, Valliant delivered the opening Henry N. Wagner Jr. plenary lecture.

His talk, A Bridge Not Too Far: Linking Disciplines Through Molecular Imaging Probes, focused on the important role molecular imaging plays in diagnostic medicine. Molecular imaging is a rapidly emerging field that combines the disciplines of chemistry, biology, medicine and radiology. It enables researchers and doctors to visualize biological processes in a non-invasive way – seeing biology in action as opposed to a static picture of structure or anatomy. Valliant used the evolution of diagnosing breast cancer to illustrate the importance of molecular imaging.

Currently, mammography is the standard screening tool for this disease, but not all women are well-served by this traditional imaging modality. Early research indicates that molecular breast imaging has the potential to impact health outcomes for women worldwide. Women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer, such as those with a family history, and women who have dense breast tissue (mostly younger women) would be the prime candidates for this new technology.

In the future, Valliant’s lecture will be available online at the SNM website. The Society of Nuclear Medicine is an international scientific and professional organization with 16,000 members, including physicians, technologists and scientists specializing in the research and practice of nuclear medicine.

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