Chandigarh, India will be the site of the 2nd World Congress on Ga-68 (Generators and Novel Radiopharmaceuticals), Molecular Imaging (PET/CT), Targeted Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry: On the Way to Personalized Medicine from February 28 through March 2, 2013. The meeting is being hosted by the Department of Nuclear Medicine & PET, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh (India) and co-hosted by the University of Iowa (USA). Based on the enormous success of the 1st World Congress on Ga-68 and PRRT, held in Bad Berka (Germany) in 2011, it is expected that about 500 delegates from across the world will attend the Congress in India.
Personalized medicine is a rapidly growing field of healthcare in which treatments are as individualized as the disease they are targeting. Factors taken into consideration are each person’s unique clinical, genetic, genomic, and environmental information. This is especially important for neuroendocrine cancers such as carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors because, according to Professor Richard P. Baum, a Congress Committee Patron and expert on PRRT, NET cancer is not one disease. NET tumors are not a single tumor entity, he explains, but probably a 100 tumor entity with many different features. Thus the treatment for each patient must be based upon whether the tumor is progressive, aggressive, and the biological behavior of the tumor.
Plenary lectures, invited talks, and roundtable conferences by world renowned experts will focus on seven key areas during the 2nd World Congress:
- Radionuclide Generators
- Gallium-68 Molecular Imaging
- Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRNT)
- Targeted Tumor Therapy with Alpha Emitters
- Integration of Molecular Imaging, Radionuclide Therapy and Surgery: Theranostics
- Nanomedicine and Novel Approaches to Molecular Targeting
- Preclinical Multimodality Molecular Imaging
Basic scientists, clinicians, chemists, radiopharmacists and physicists, as well as students pursuing careers in molecular imaging, targeted radionuclide therapy and drug development, are encouraged to attend. Pharma industries and academic institutions will also be an integral part of the Congress.
A trade exhibition will offer industry leaders in radionuclide generators, PET and SPECT radionuclides/radiopharmaceuticals, manufacturers of medical cyclotrons, PET/CT/MRI scanners, SPECT gamma cameras, and manufacturers of preclinical SPECT/PET/CT optical imaging and fluorescence the opportunity to exhibit their products.
Why are the Ga-68 scan and PRRNT so important for carcinoid/NET patients? They are in the forefront of imaging, diagnostic, treatment and follow-up tools for NET cancer. The Ga-68 scan is extraordinarily clear and sensitive, explains Dr. Baum, and can detect neuroendocrine tumors as small as 4 millimeters. It is also an excellent tool for measuring the density of a patient’s receptors. This is especially important as the only way PRRNT can work is for patients to have somatostatin receptors in their tumors.
PRRNT is effective, says Dr. Baum, even for very advanced cases. The treatment leads to a significant improvement of clinical symptoms such as decreases in flushing, pain and diarrhea; weight gain in underweight patients; the ability to give up octreotide therapy; and improvement of overall health. Most importantly, the median overall survival of patients from the start of treatment is 59 months.
In the United States, the first two clinical trials with the Gallium-68 scan are underway at the University of Iowa and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. Read more about the clinical trials at the University of Iowa here and at Vanderbilt University here. Pictured to the right is an image from the Gallium-68 PET/CT scan. In 2011, Vanderbilt became the first facility in the United States to receive FDA approval to study the effectiveness of the 68 Gallium PET/CT scan in diagnosing and treating neuroendocrine tumors.
For more information about the 2nd World Congress on Ga-68, Molecular Imaging and Targeted Radionuclide Therapy, click here.