Welcome sign at SNMMI 2022

SNMMI 2022 annual meeting showcases the future of nuclear medicine

Claudette Lew|2022-09-12

Global nuclear medicine experts discover and explore the latest developments in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in person at this year’s event.

For the first time since 2019, this year’s annual meeting of the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) was held both virtually and in person in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The meeting offered many educational opportunities for the nuclear medicine industry, as well as highlighted the importance of furthering progress in the molecular imaging field. The meeting’s scientific program and continuing education sessions were delivered to more than 6,800 participants, including physicians, technologists, pharmacists, laboratory professionals, and scientists during the June 11-14 event. More than 4,000 individuals attended in person, while approximately 2,800 took advantage of the meeting’s virtual platform. The hybrid format was a great success, according to newly elected SNMMI president, Munir Ghesani, MD, FACNM, FACR.

“After more than two years apart, joining together in person was a truly wonderful experience,” said Ghesani. “The meeting provides such a unique opportunity to hear firsthand about the latest advances of the field and to network with colleagues from around the world.”1

Helen Nadel, MD, FRCPC, was named president-elect for SNMMI and noted her plans for the following term in office. Nadel is planning to introduce projects focused on creating rapid global communication and mobilization plans, fostering the society’s government and industry relationships, and implementing diversity initiatives.

This year SNMMI welcomed France as the highlight country, originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic. As a highlight country, French delegates contributed this year to the Opening Ceremony and presented continuing education sessions.

SNMMI presented several major awards at this year’s congress. Simon R. Cherry, PhD, received the Benedict Cassen Prize for Research in Molecular Imaging and presented a lectureship titled “A Matter of Time.” Markus Schwaiger, MD, received Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award, and Andrei Iagaru, MD, FACNM, received the inaugural SNMMI Sam Gambhir Trailblazer Award.

One of the most anticipated annual awards is the Image of the Year Award, which highlights a photograph that captures the essence of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging advances. This year’s honor was given to a team at the Hannover Medical School in Germany that used a positron emission tomography (PET)/ computed tomography (CT) system in their phase II cardiac research.2

Siemens Healthineers showed the world what modern single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) looks like with the digital introduction event of their newest SPECT/CT scanner, Symbia Pro.specta™. The digital introduction took place on June 9, followed by the live product introduction during the SNMMI meeting on June 12. More than a thousand participants from 91 countries registered for the virtual event, and the live introduction at SNMMI took place at the Siemens Healthineers booth in front of a robust crowd. The Symbia Pro.specta SPECT/CT scanner offers a variety of enhanced capabilities, including automated SPECT motion correction, low-dose CT up to 64 slices, as well as enhanced usability features such as intuitive workflow that automates steps across the exam experience.

“Siemens Healthineers is proud to introduce the Symbia Pro.specta SPECT/CT scanner, which provides our customers with the ideal vehicle for transitioning from their SPECT-only and first-generation SPECT/CT cameras to a state-of-the-art SPECT/CT scanner that can perform a full spectrum of nuclear medicine examinations,” said Jim Williams, PhD, head of Siemens Healthineers Molecular Imaging. “Symbia Pro.specta will help healthcare institutions overcome barriers to care by ensuring accessibility through its ease of use and ability to fit into existing SPECT rooms.”

Designed for all SPECT/CT imaging applications, the system can be customized with specialized clinical tools for optimized imaging in cardiology, neurology, oncology, orthopedics, and other clinical areas. The scanner also can be used for either stand-alone diagnostic CT or SPECT imaging.

In a ballroom filled to capacity on June 13, SNMMI participants attended a luncheon symposium featuring speakers from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. These nuclear medicine experts described how the newly introduced Symbia Pro.specta SPECT/CT and Biograph Vision Quadra™ PET/CT signal the beginning of a new era in nuclear imaging.

At Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Deputy Head of Nuclear Medicine Erin Ross, PhD, and Laura Whitehouse, senior clinical technologist, have been using SPECT/CT for over 10 years. In February2021, they installed the very first Symbia Pro.specta system. At the symposium, they shared their experiences so far using the new system and how it has impacted their clinical workflow and patient care. In 2020, the Biograph Vision Quadra™ PET/CT was introduced, designed for clinical use as well as research. The system delivers powerful new detector technology and time of flight (TOF) performance, as well as an unprecedented 106-cm field of view (FOV)—four times the PET axial FOV of Biograph Vision™.

Joyce van Sluis, MSc, of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, shared her first experiences and published data regarding the new capabilities and extended FOV of Biograph Vision Quadra PET/CT with symposium attendees, including its clinical performance and the research opportunities made possible with this large axial FOV PET/CT system. With the scanner’s extended FOV, clinicians can examine patient anatomy during radiopharmaceutical uptake over time and more anatomical coverage compared to a standard PET/CT scanner.

The team at Siemens Healthineers’ Molecular Imaging is looking forward to a productive year ahead and the 2023 SNMMI Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where they will illustrate how their molecular imaging technology is impacting clinical outcomes in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

Claudette Lew is a freelance medical writer and editor.