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Clinical FDG-PET use grows as research moves forward

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - Molecular imaging has been redefined. By expanding its definition to apply to most diagnostic and therapeutic procedures formerly associated with nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging’s leaders hope to make molecular imaging relevant and accessible to mainstream radiology.

MI’s journey from bench to bedside is not going to be easy. Researchers need more time to guide promising applications from preclinical animal testing into practice. Yet progress can be seen on several fronts. In particular, the National Oncology PET Registry, implemented in mid-2006, has greatly expanded Medicare coverage for FDG-PET and raised the visibility of PET imaging for cancer staging and the monitoring of cancer therapies.

The joint conference of the Academy of Molecular Imaging and the Society for Molecular Imaging last September set a precedent for cooperation among potentially competing organizations. The two societies share an interest in advancing MI science, but their histories are vastly different. AMI serves as an advocate and clearinghouse of information about PET reimbursement and practice strategies, while SMI is more closely associated with MI’s scientific advancement.

The first joint meeting was successful enough to plan a second joint conference—this time also involving the European Society of Molecular Imaging—that will take place in Nice, France, in September.

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