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SNM applauds NAS study showing need to restore federal nuclear medicine research funding
Date:9/21/2007

ned Peter S. Conti, chair of SNMs Government Relations Committee. Our country needs to invest in the basic scientific research necessary to develop future breakthroughs in nuclear medicine imaging and therapy that will allow for earlier detection and treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses, he noted.

Briefly, the NAS report

  • calls for enhanced federal commitment to nuclear medicine research,

  • recommends that regulatory requirementsfor toxicology and current good manufacturing practices facilitiesbe clarified and simplified,

  • notes that domestic medical radionuclide production should be improved,

  • suggests that DOE and NIH convene expert panels to identify critical national needs for training nuclear medicine scientists and

  • encourages interdisciplinary collaboration.

DOE-supported high-risk/high-reward nuclear medicine research has been directed at the fundamental and technological aspects of biomedical imaging and radiotherapy that make technological breakthroughs possible, said SNM President-Elect Robert W. Atcher, University of New Mexico/Los Alamos National Laboratory professor of pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico and a former DOE grant recipient. Atchers ongoing research project -- to explore the use of radioactive isotopes to kill cancer cells and reduce the radiation dose to normal tissues -- was zeroed out in 2006 with the loss of $400,000 in federal funds. We are potentially losing the ability to treat some very resistant cancers with this new technology because we dont have the funding to continue the research on our idea. We needed at least two more years of funding to demonstrate the biologic effectiveness of our approach before the National Institutes of Health would consider funding the work, he explained.

Molecular imaging/nuclear medicine is a multidisciplinary science and medical s
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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