September 25, 2013
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SNMMI SmartBrief Special Report: Personalized medicine
Health care is changing faster than ever. Technical and clinical advancements being made every day hold great promise for bringing sweeping change to the art and science of medicine. At the core of many of these advances is the move toward personalized medicine, where clinical decisions are based on and made with individuals. Functional imaging has been at the forefront of developing a personalized approach to clinical care. This special report explores the breadth of personalized medicine, from concrete advances in imaging to genomics, drug development and the patient's perspective. Look for a follow-up report on Oct. 9, and stay on top of all the latest news in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging with SNMMI SmartBrief.
Diagnosis and Treatment 
  • SPECT may help match ovarian cancer patients with treatment
    A study in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine suggests that using SPECT to assess expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 may help predict therapeutic response and possibly improve outcomes for patients with metastatic ovarian cancer. Among 32 patients assessed with SPECT imaging, researchers found that VCAM-1 expression was present in 15% of women after chemotherapy, compared with 72% of those who only received surgery. "[T]hese observations indicate that in addition to the presence of VCAM-1 at the earliest stages of peritoneal spread (i.e., stage II patients with secondary implants), expression is responsive to treatment," researchers wrote. (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PET/MRI may facilitate better cancer treatment planning
    U.S. and Italian researchers who studied 134 patients found that FDG-PET/MRI was more precise than FDG-PET/CT in assessing lymphadenopathy and certain tumors and proved to be more sensitive to hepatic and bony metastases. PET/MRI also tended to yield treatment-altering data, with seven patients beginning chemotherapy, five undergoing surgery and six avoiding biopsy, researchers reported in a radiology journal. (free registration) (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Emerging Trends and Technology 
  • Drug trials could benefit from tiny molecular imaging tech
    A "Betabox" micro molecular imaging platform, consisting of the RIMChip microfluidic device and a beta-particle camera, could advance the development of in vitro drug trials, researchers wrote in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Researchers examined the responses of model glioblastoma and lymphoma cancer cells to F-18 FDG uptake after exposure to drugs, finding the new Betabox system showed signal strength 11 times that of older designs. Compared with traditional 96-well plate radioassays, the Betabox tool used live cells, allowed signal measurement per cell and required fewer cells, researchers said. (8/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nanosensors, mobile imaging, genomics to revolutionize care
    New technology such as mobile imaging devices, new approaches to therapeutics based on a patient's genetic profile and a growing movement to empower patients are all fueling a revolution in health care, writes Dr. James Aw. The result, say experts including cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, will be an era of personalized medicine with the patient in the driver's seat. National Post (Canada) (9/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advance would allow live monitoring of cellular response
    Changes induced in a single living cell by chemical signals may soon be monitored thanks to a breakthrough in measuring a single nanoparticle from a distance using light. The work by researchers from Macquarie University, the University of Adelaide and Peking University uses an optical fiber rather than a microscope. This process could help in "measuring a cell's reaction in real time to a cancer drug," said Tanya Monro, director of the University of Adelaide's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing. EE Times Asia (free registration) (9/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Focus on Patients 
  • Amid "overdiagnosis" hype, how should docs, patients proceed?
    Dr. Susan K. Boolbol of Beth Israel Medical Center says that in the absence of treatment-guiding biomarkers for ductal carcinoma in situ, it's essential for physicians and patients to talk openly about the potential benefits and drawbacks of breast cancer screening and treatment. "Ultimately, what we get to is personalized medicine," she said. "If we diagnose a 95-year-old woman with ductal carcinoma in situ, should we be treating her the same as a 40-year-old woman? It is not just based on age alone, it is based on the intentions of the patient. It is based on their overall health. It is based on so many factors, and that is why these discussions are so important." (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Few U.S. consumers understand personalized treatment
    As drug and device developers explore the promise and bounds of personalized medicine, they may also need to focus some time and energy on educating the public on what the term means. Researchers with GfK report that just 27% of American consumers surveyed had heard of personalized medicine. GigaOm (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The news summaries appearing in SNMMI SmartBrief are based on original information from multiple internet sources and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The items above are not selected or reviewed by SNMMI prior to publication. Questions and comments may be directed to SmartBrief at
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