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October 29, 2019

Immunotherapy against cancer: Patients benefit from molecular imaging

Immunotherapy gives hope to numerous cancer patients who do not respond satisfactorily to chemotherapy. However, this kind of treatment is not efficacious in all patients and it can even be harmful. “Positron emission tomography (PET) allows to accurately monitor the treatment process and assess its outcome,” says Prof. Nicolas Aide, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM). “This molecular imaging method is essential for patients’ care since it enables doctors to discriminate clearly between beneficial and harmful effects of immunotherapy.”

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June 5, 2019

International Medical Specialist Society “Summit Meeting” agrees on Principles to Resolve Controversies in Managing Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

New Scientific Paper by Participants Gives Clinical Guidance and Proposes Research Directions to Improve Patient Care

Four international medical specialist societies, the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM), European Thyroid Association (ETA), Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), and American Thyroid Association (ATA),  recently took an innovative approach to resolving clinical and scientific controversies affecting their fields, in this case, regarding the care of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC): a “summit meeting” among 18 expert clinicians and investigators officially representing the groups.

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March 19, 2019

Fighting cancer: New PET-imaging method improves diagnosis and treatment of widespread carcinomas

(Vienna, March 19, 2019) In fighting cancer an early and accurate diagnosis is crucial. A new nuclear medicine imaging method within the field of Positron emission tomography (PET) facilitates a more precise diagnosis of widespread carcinomas such as breast, colon, pancreas or lung cancer. Moreover, the novel imaging technique can combine the detection of the tumor with its treatment according to the patient’s individual needs. “By targeting a particular enzyme found on the membrane of cancer-associated fibroblasts we may achieve a better outcome than with the methods used so far,” says Professor Uwe Haberkorn, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

December 14, 2018

The role and importance of patient and public involvement in nuclear medicine

(Vienna, December 14, 2018) Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement is defined as a dynamic core democratic principle where people affected by clinical interventions and research studies have the right to have a say in how they are treated and what and how research is undertaken. It is a close working collaboration between health professionals, patients and the public. By introducing patients and public opinions and inputs we immediately have two different viewpoints – the health professionals’ goal of furthering their professional outlook and the patients’ and public practical understanding of their condition and needs. However, little evidence of this trend is seen regarding patient and public involvement in nuclear medicine.

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August 21, 2018

Improving radiation protection

(Vienna, August 21, 2018) Nuclear medical techniques are essential in diagnosing a large number of diseases and in treating various kinds of cancer. Since nuclear medicine is based on the use of radioactively labelled substances patients are exposed to a certain amount of radiation. Although doses are low and have to be weighted against the high diagnostic and therapeutic benefit, the improvement of radiation protection is a main concern of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM). “Recently, EANM has joined forces with scientific organisations from related disciplines in order to specify risk estimations and promote cutting edge research which will serve as a basis for improving protective measures. Patients as well as staff are going to benefit considerably from these efforts”, says EANM expert Prof. Klaus Bacher.

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April 19, 2018

Alzheimer’s disease: Patients benefit from nuclear imaging

(Vienna, 19 April 2018) With the help of Positron emission tomography (PET) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be detected long before the onset of the symptoms by making beta-amyloid in the brain visible. However, since there is still no cure for AD the question has been raised if such a diagnosis is really beneficial for the patient or rather more of a burden. First results of a large study, currently under way, show that PET diagnosis helped to improve medical management and counseling in over 65% of the patients. “AD patients clearly benefit from nuclear imaging,” says Dr. Valentina Garibotto, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

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October 16, 2017

World Spine Day 2017: Nuclear imaging targets the origins of back pain

(Vienna, October 16, 2017) Low back pain is an increasing and extremely widespread condition that becomes chronic in many patients, causing severe physical and emotional distress. Moreover, back pain is one of the leading causes of activity limitation and work absence all over the world and thus, has an enormous economic burden. Up to 80% of patients with back pain suffer from unspecific pain without identifiable cause. ”But for those patients who are suspected to have a pain generator responsible for their complaints imaging techniques such as SPECT/CT can open up the path to efficient treatment,” says Prof. Dr. Willm Uwe Kampen, expert from the Bone and Joint Committee of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) on the occasion of the World Spine Day 2017.

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May 10, 2017

New ways in health education: Funny cartoons help children through nuclear medical examinations

(Vienna, May 10, 2017) Nuclear medical examinations can be stressful for patients – particularly for children. But Sunny the Isotope, Tim the Tracer and Rob the Receptor help reduce the strain. These cartoon characters have been developed by Ronald van Rheenen, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM). The Visual Education Project that gave birth to these characters provides child patients with ageappropriate information on the imaging examination. They make preparation rules easy to understand and lend a touch of fun and adventure to the procedure.

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March 21, 2017

Coronary heart disease: Functional imaging helps avoid unnecessary angiography and save costs

(Vienna, March 21, 2017) Heart catheterizations for assessing coronary heart disease are often unnecessary and can be replaced with functional cardiac imaging techniques. This is the result of a large-scale study recently conducted in the UK. “Functional cardiac imaging is less risky and less costly while providing accurate and reliable results. It is a good diagnostic starting point that should serve as gatekeeper for angiography,” says Prof. Riemer H.J.A. Slart, cardiovascular expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

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December 13, 2016

Prostate cancer: Identifying and destroying the tumour through nuclear medicine therapy

(Vienna, December 13, 2016) Prostate cancer patients who are resistant to hormone treatment used to have a poor prognosis. Until recently, the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities had been limited, but now innovative developments in nuclear medicine imaging and therapy open up promising pathways. Novel substances used with PET/CT (positron-emission tomography combined with computed tomography) not only allow for better diagnosis but also offer treatment options where other therapies have failed. “This offers a glimpse of hope to patients who suffer from this particularly severe form of prostate cancer,” says EANM expert Prof. Markus Luster.

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September 6, 2016

Myocardial nuclear imaging: Minimizing the dose – preserving the diagnostic value

(Vienna, September 6, 2016) Cardiac scintigraphy plays an important role in the evaluation of patients with a suspicion or known coronary artery disease (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction), but submitted patients to higher levels of radiations in comparison to other imaging techniques. New detection systems (CZT cameras) have become available that offer to reduce dramatically the level of radiations associated to cardiac scintigraphy. “Using these new systems, we can provide cardiologists with critical information on the status of the vessels supplying blood within the heart and expose patients to only minimal levels of radiations ,” says Dr. Fabien Hyafil, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

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July 26, 2016

Alzheimer’s disease: Pinpointing destructive tau tangles through novel imaging technique

(Vienna, July 26, 2016) New nuclear imaging techniques help to detect a key factor involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) much earlier and more precisely than before. Recently developed tracers, used with positron emission tomography (PET) make tau tangles in the brain visible. For the first time these deposits which cause severe neuronal malfunctions can be identified and investigated “live” in the brains of AD patients long before the onset of noticeable mental impairment. “This is an important step towards our goal to develop efficient drugs to fight and eventually cure AD”, says Dr Silvia Morbelli, expert of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

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