January 15, 2021
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Top Story
Researchers found that maximum standardized uptake value body weight, body surface area, lean body mass, lesion-to-liver SUV ratio and lesion-to-blood SUV ratio on F-18 FDG-PET/CT scans were significantly tied to odds of Richter syndrome among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, with the SUVmax value of 9 being the best threshold for foretelling CLL-related Richter syndrome risk by SUVbw. The findings in the journal Clinical Lymphoma Myeloma and Leukemia also showed that those with CLL and Richter syndrome had significantly shorter median overall survival than those with CLL alone, with all PET/CT parameters, along with B symptoms and Binet stage being significantly linked to OS.
Full Story: Cancer Network (1/14) 
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Clinical News & Research
A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that 50.4% of people with Alzheimer's disease had mild dementia symptoms, indicating the need for more studies and interventions aimed at slowing dementia progression. "It is crucial to determine risk factors or develop therapies that could alter the disease trajectory to improve individuals' quality of life and alleviate the socio-economic burden," said researcher Rhoda Au.
Full Story: The Korea Herald (Seoul) (1/14) 
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Only 15,400 Massachusetts General Brigham patients underwent cancer screenings during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic between March and June 2020, compared with 64,269 patients during the previous quarter, which may have resulted in nearly 1,400 missed cancers and precancerous lesions, according to a research letter in JAMA Oncology. However, researchers found that the number of cancer screenings rose to about 52,000 during the quarter after the pandemic's initial peak.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (1/14) 
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Women with early-stage cervical cancer who underwent sequential chemoradiotherapy after radical hysterectomy had better three-year disease free survival, compared with those who received concurrent CRT and those who were given radiotherapy alone, researchers reported in JAMA Oncology. The findings also correlated post-op sequential CRT with improved overall survival, after accounting for lymph node involvement.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (1/14) 
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Industry Report
AI Metrics has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its artificial intelligence-based oncology image-analysis platform.
Full Story: FDAnews (1/14) 
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European regulators have given CE mark approval to Therapixel for its MammoScreen, an artificial intelligence-based software that helps radiologists identify suspicious mammograms and lesions.
Full Story: FDAnews (1/13) 
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News from the Field
Radiology practices can better navigate the economic downturn brought by the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting a financial risk assessment; managing operating costs; maximizing clinical income and revenue streams; and optimizing cash access, flow, liquidity and availability, according to a study in Academic Radiology. "Taking these into consideration may allow practices -- especially those within an academic medical center -- to transform towards a stronger, more resilient and more cohesive framework," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Radiology Business (1/13) 
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Health Policy
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday proposed a plan to provide $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief, which would include $20 billion in funding for a national vaccine program, $350 billion for state and local governments, $50 billion for COVID-19 testing, and $170 billion for K-12 schools, colleges and universities. The American Rescue Plan would also provide $1,400 in direct payments to most Americans, boost federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and extend the eviction and foreclosure bans until the end of September.
Full Story: CNN (1/15),  The New York Times (1/15),  CNBC (1/14) 
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Little has been accomplished as far as legislation to reduce drug prices despite bipartisan support, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., indicated he might push for legislation without Republican support using budget reconciliation.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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Advancing Health Care
A study in the Journal of Digital Imaging found that the zero watermarking method didn't differentiate an author's modified image from a similar image by another author, and it also failed to distinguish the same body part images from different patients. However, researchers found that zero watermarking enabled evaluation of image integrity and helped identify the level of image modification, indicating the approach's utility in measuring image similarity, but more studies are needed.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (1/13) 
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December started off with exciting news of UCLA and UCSF's approval of 68Ga-PSMA-11 for prostate cancer patients with suspected metastases or suspected recurrence based on elevated serum prostate-specific antigen. Join us January 19 at 4:00 pm Eastern for the webinar "The Approval of 68Ga-PSMA-11: What You Need to Know," where we will help you navigate through patient selection, imaging interpretation, the approval process and regulatory considerations for 68Ga-PSMA-11 availability. Register.
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SNMMI is now accepting nominations for our 2021 Ones to Watch! Submit candidates from any career within the specialty whose actions, work or studies have set them apart as a future thought leader in the field. Submit your Ones to Watch nomination by January 31, 2021, for consideration. Please note: To be eligible, candidates must be currently in training or have completed their training within the last 5 years.
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The SNMMI Technologist Section Quality Committee has produced a one-page flyer to assist patients undergoing procedures involving venipuncture. The flyer offers guidance on how to prepare for such procedures and what to do in the case of a hematoma or extravasation. It can be found at the DiscoverMI website and on the Society's Fact Sheet page. Members are welcome to download the document and provide it to patients.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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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 snmmi@smartbrief.com.
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