September 24, 2008

SNM Hosts Briefing and Roundtable With Cancer Community

By Cronin, Valerie

As part of its ongoing effort to expand the universe of organizations involved in increasing patient access to molecular imaging, SNM, in partnership with the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI), hosted a briefing and roundtable discussion titled, "Molecular Imaging: Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer." The July briefing, held in Washington, DC, was attended by more than 30 individuals, representing 17 organizations. The purpose of the briefing was to educate and inform representatives from cancer patient advocacy, health professional, and related organizations about the application and promise of molecular imaging for the continuum of cancer care and to initiate partnerships to address issues of mutual interest and priority. Speakers at the briefing included SNM President Robert W. Alcher, PhD, MBA; AMI President Timothy J. McCarthy, PhD; Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD; and Chaitanya Divgi, MD. In addition, I facilitated a group discussion about opportunities for partnerships and collaboration between SNM, AMI, and the organizations in attendance. Dr. Atcher opened the briefing by stating that for each cancer care component, "screening, detection, diagnosis, staging, treatment, and monitoringimaging often comes into play. We like to say that molecular imaging helps ensure that we give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. That is what brings us together this morning."

Dr. Pomper gave a "patient friendly" introduction to molecular imaging, and Dr. Divgi delivered a number of excellent clinical examples of ways in which molecular imaging is being used to detect, stage, treat, and/or manage a number of different types of cancer. After the clinical presentations, Drs. Atcher and McCarthy segued the discussion to the public policy arena by providing an overview of current reimbursement challenges and our regulatory concerns at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, they discussed the need to increase patient participation in clinical trials and to remain steadfast in our collective advocacy efforts to boost federal funding for biomedical research at both the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.

Briefing attendees expressed great interest in what was presented and indicated a desire to convene again in the fail for further discussion and information sharing, particularly regarding the expected January release of the revised Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services National Oncologic PET Registry coverage guidance. Other next steps include exploring ways to work together to increase clinical trials recruitment by educating physicians and nurses about molecular imaging studies. SNM also committed to developing additional materials illustrating the intersection between molecular imaging and comprehensive, quality cancer care. SNM looks forward to expanding upon this initial effort and developing strong working relationships with our colleagues in the cancer community.

Valerie Cronin, CNMT, FSNMTS

Valerie Cronin, CNMT, FSNMTS

SNM/AMI Patient Advocacy Task Force Chair

Copyright Society of Nuclear Medicine Sep 2008

(c) 2008 Journal of Nuclear Medicine, The. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.