Nearly 400 delegates from 82 Member States are expected to attend the IAEA´s first International Conference on Clinical PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and Molecular Nuclear Medicine in Bangkok, Thailand, from 10-14 November.
Molecular nuclear medicine is based on state-of-the-art technology that allows the direct observation of molecular interactions in the living body through radiotracer techniques, while PET is an imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional map of functional processes in the body. The adoption of this technology has opened up a new era in medicine, paving the way for innovative diagnostic, patient management and therapy procedures and techniques.
The conference will focus on the entire spectrum of activities relating to molecular imaging, from the latest scientific and technological developments to issues such as training and education challenges in setting up clinical PET services in Members states. At present, less than one quarter of the IAEA Member States have such facilities, though many of them are in the process of establishing clinical PET services in the near future.
"With this meeting we are hoping to present Member States with the possibility to gain an insight into what is needed to develop and establish a clinical PET service in their countries," says the IAEA´s Kishor Solanki, one of the scientific secretaries of the conference.
The Bangkok conference is expected to give clinicians, scientists and professionals a truly international perspective of developments in all aspects of clinical PET. It will also offer a unique overview of molecular imaging in general, and its uses in addressing challenges in oncology, neurology, cardiology and general medicine common to many Member States.
The IAEA provides extensive support to Member States on clinical PET and molecular imaging services, including training for physicians, radiologists, radiopharmacists/chemists, medical physicists, pharmacologists and other scientists. It also gives independent advice to Member States on how to optimize their resources, occasionally delivering crucial items of equipment needed to implement them.
The Clinical PET and Molecular Nuclear Medicine Conference will be held at Bangkok´s International Convention Center of the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI), where Thailand�s first clinical PET service has been established with the assistance of the IAEA.
Molecular imaging nuclear medicine allows the analysis of cellular biochemistry and its relationship to disease processes expressed in tissue and organ dysfunction, for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
People frequently have similar but not identical manifestations of a disease. Functional radionuclide imaging and PET allow physicians to follow the pathology in individual patients and are invaluable tools for tailored clinical management. These technologies also provide the means to assess the response to treatment in a safe and non-invasive manner.
Changes at molecular and cellular levels provide vital clues for evaluating the effectiveness of chosen clinical treatment plans. This technology is expected to have a major impact on understanding disease, disease detection, individualised treatment, and drug development.