One-Day Seminar at GINUM, Gujranwala

Advances in Nuclear Medicine

The Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS) and Gujranwala Institute of Nuclear Medicine (GINUM) jointly organized seminar “Advances in Nuclear Medicine” at GINUM Gujranwala on 4th November 2021. The President PNS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, highlighted the role of nuclear techniques diagnosis and treatment of various pathologies. He also shed light on the activities of PNS for the promotion of scientific activities in collaboration with various renowned organizations. He emphasized that PNS collaborative scientific activities are to highlight the contributions of nuclear professionals in national development through peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

Dr. Sohail Murad director GINUM, in his welcome address thanked Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) for supporting this important scientific activity. He said that such educational activities update the doctors and technical staff about the advancement in their field. With the help of such activities, state-of-art practices can be successfully implemented in a local setting.

The formal scientific activity started with an online keynote lecture by Dr. ArifShiekh medical director and consultant nuclear physician in Kettering HealthOhio, USA, on “Evolving Updates in PET Molecular Imaging”. Dr. Arifcomprehensively discussed the evolution and impact of new PET tracers, updates in technical developments, and future directions in oncology, cardiology, neurology, and infection PET imaging. He shared the new tracers approved for molecular imaging in the last 2 years resulting  in swift growth of new indications filling prior ‘holes’ in patient management paradigms. He concluded that new developments will be groundbreaking and potentially ‘disruptive’ to current paradigms

This was followed by a talk on “SPECT-CT-Second Life for Conventional Nuclear medicine” by Dr. Zaheer Chiragh consultant nuclear physician, Saudi Arabia. He elaborated the evolution of hybrid imaging and its growing applications in conventional nuclear medicine imaging. He explained the clinical efficacy of SPECT-CT, especially in musculoskeletal pathologies. He concluded that advancement in hybrid SPECT-CT imaging has resulted in improved contrast & resolution,  higher detectability & sensitivity and it has improved clinical decision making manifold.

Dr. Azroo Fatima head department of nuclear medicine & PET INMOL Lahore gave a very elaborate introduction of the “Theranostic” concept in her lecture titled “Theranostic – Current status”.  The role of established and approved beta and alpha emitters as a therapeutic agent in selected cancers was comprehensively explained with published international landmark clinical trials and experience from Pakistan. She shared technical details and lessons learned from local experience for the practical use of all aspiring nuclear physicians.

Expanding on the same theme Dr. Shazia Fatima head department of Nuclear Medicine and Pathology NORI, Islamabad and Executive Member of PNS Council, underscored the future outlook for theranostics. She shed light on radiopharmaceuticals pairs which are currently being investigated in various international clinical trials with very promising and encouraging results. She also shared the structural and technical modifications in currently used theranostics agents for further improving their efficacy. For widespread use of theranostics in all nuclear medicine departments of Pakistan, she suggested better collaboration between all nuclear medicine centers, local productions of these theranostic radiopharmaceuticals to reduce the cost and indigenous research to overcome the current limitations of these therapies.

Dr. Basit Iqbal, head depart of nuclear medicine GINUM comprehensively covered the advances in the field of nuclear cardiology. He compared the current status of Nuclear Medicine in cardiac diagnostic algorithm with Cardiac CT and cardiac MR imaging. He emphasized that all these modalities have a collaborative rather than competitive role. With Nuclear medicine being a  physiological imaging modality its role as a screening and follow-up tool in the assessment of myocardial perfusion and function is well supported by exhaustive published literature.

The Chief Guest of the event, Dr. Mohammad Sohaib, Director NMO division PAEC, highlighted the role of PAEC in health sector. He gave overview of PAEC activities in health sector though its 19 cancer hospitals. He emphasized the role of nuclear techniques in diagnostic and therapeutic that is being successfully being utilized in all PAEC cancer hospitals. He shared that 19 cancer hospitals of PAEC are collectively accommodating 80% cancer burden of the country through its diagnostic and treatments services.

While thanking the speakers, participants and organizer in GINUM and PNS, the General Secretary PNS, Dr. M. Mohsin, stressed the need for sustainable nuclear medicine services throughout the country with the addition of more nuclear medicine centers and trained manpower.