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Editor's e-Note
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that many societies are opting for virtual meetings. One of the most recent is SNMMI, which shifted its annual meeting from mid-June to July 11–14 and adopted a virtual format. The meeting will be free to all members and discounted for nonmembers. Although society members won’t be sharing personal space, they will still have the opportunity to share news and research that is likely to have a profound influence on medical diagnosis and treatment in the coming years. We’re providing a sneak peek at some of that research in this month’s newsletter.

Which molecular imaging developments do you think will have the most far-reaching effects? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Molecular Imaging Provides Early Insight Into Neuroendocrine Tumor Outcomes

A proof-of-concept study recently published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine has demonstrated that molecular imaging can be used to identify early response to 177Lu-DOTATATE treatment in neuroendocrine tumor patients. Utilizing SPECT imaging with 111In-antiγH2AX-TAT, researchers were able to visualize a DNA damage response marker just days after 177Lu-DOTATATE treatment. Monitoring the DNA damage response in the early days after the radionuclide injection could allow physicians to determine the therapeutic outcome and adapt the therapy regimen accordingly.

The radiobiologic aspects of 177Lu-DOTATATE, as well as other molecular radiotherapies, are underexplored. Radionuclide therapy is largely delivered to neuroendocrine tumor patients on a fixed dose protocol, regardless of body weight or tumor uptake. To justify any increase or decrease in the prescribed radionuclide dose, a sustainable metric is needed; however, no metric currently exists.

“One strategy to develop this metric is to determine if sufficient damage has been done to the tumor, which would allow treating physicians to tailor subsequent doses to ensure therapeutic success,” says Bart Cornelissen, PhD, an associate professor in the department of oncology at the MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. “In our study, we sought to image the molecular biological effects of 177Lu-DOTATATE radionuclide therapy by visualizing the DNA double-strand break damage response marker γH2AX.”

Full story »
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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
Advanced Imaging Reverse-Engineers Color of Faded Artifacts
According to personnel at the University of Sydney, whose vibrational spectroscopy facilities are reportedly the most comprehensive in Australia, advanced imaging technology can vividly depict the original colors of ancient Egyptian coffins. The results, they say, afford considerable insight into the study of ancient burial customs.

PA Legislature Urged to Pass Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act
In a brief but thought-provoking statement in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Helen Bradley, RT(R)(VI), ARRT, president of the Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists, argues in favor of legislation that would require Medicare to recognize and reimburse the much-needed services of radiologist assistants.

Nanoscale Technology Harnesses Interior Cellular Data
Purdue University researchers have made strides in 3D nanoscopy, a procedure that, the study authors say, improves upon super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. The new method addresses a longstanding problem—namely, that light permeates various cellular and tissue regions at inconsistent speeds, per an article in Nature Methods.

Research Suggests Retinal Enhancement Can Bestow Infrared Vision
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, checks in on a mouse model that utilizes specialized nanoparticles to enhance the retina, thereby extending natural vision to include infrared light. Further information on the study is documented in Cell.
Worth Repeating
“These negative feelings so many of us are experiencing right now may result from a mismatch. We have a neuronal signal telling us that being with loved ones will make us feel better, while practical restrictions mean this need is going unmet. It’s the emotional equivalent of not eating when we are hungry, except now instead of skipping a meal, we are slowly starving.”

Zoe Donaldson, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, regarding a study on ways neuron behavior is affected by companionship and distancing, as detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences