By Wayne Forrest, staff writer
November 12, 2015

This molecular imaging installment of the Road to RSNA 2015 previews a host of novel papers that use PET alone, PET/CT, and the pairing of PET and MRI to advance diagnostic imaging in the clinical setting.

PET/CT, of course, has a proven history in oncology, and this year at RSNA 2015 there will be more opportunities to see how PET/MRI could contribute to the detection of a variety of oncologic cancers, including gastrointestinal, skeletal, gynecological, lung, head and neck, and breast.

PET/MRI is proving more advantageous than PET/CT in many cases, given that MRI does not emit ionizing radiation as CT does.

If PET/MRI has piqued your interest enough to consider adding the hybrid modality to your facility's clinical service, RSNA and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine will host a plenary session on that topic on Thursday, December 3 (1:30 p.m. in Rroom E450A).

Paul Kinahan, PhD, the vice chair for research at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Dr. Jonathan McConathy, PhD, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, will offer their clinical perspectives on PET/MRI, while Dr. Bruce R. Rosen, PhD, a professor in radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, will provide research insights.

Molecular imaging and nuclear medicine poster discussions again will be a staple of the annual meeting, with two daily sessions in Room S503AB. The back-to-back, half-hour forums begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 29, and then start at 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Refresher courses in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine are available throughout the week, including Friday, after many attendees have headed home from the conference.

A refresher course on Tuesday (8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., Room S505AB) looks at imaging of Alzheimer's disease. A presentation by Dr. Terence Wong, a diagnostic radiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will address the use of PET for imaging Alzheimer's disease and how PET imaging tracers have taken a central role in the assessment and potential detection of the disease.

Of course, the best way to get a head start on your agenda for RSNA 2015 is by clicking here for a complete rundown on all the scheduled presentations, abstracts, posters, refresher courses, and educational forums for the entire meeting.

But, first, peruse the list of the scientific papers below with comments from the presenters on how their findings could affect your radiology practice.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
FDG-PET/CT can alter melanoma treatment strategies
Sunday, November 29 | 11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m. | SSA15-04 | Room S505AB
Results from FDG-PET/CT scans can greatly influence decisions regarding treatment and surgery for patients with metastatic melanoma, according to a study from Eberhard Karls University Tübingen in Germany.
Researchers use high-res PET/CT to find lung cancer
Sunday, November 29 | 11:25 a.m.-11:35 a.m. | SSA15-05 | Room S505AB
In this presentation, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco will detail their use of a high-resolution lung reformatting technique with PET/CT, which they compared with chest CT for detecting pulmonary nodules in lung cancer patients.
Breast-ring PET system could improve breast imaging
Monday, November 30 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSE21-04 | Room S403A
Researchers are developing a novel breast-ring PET system designed to produce high-resolution images with better coverage of the posterior breast than other prone breast PET imaging devices.
3D-printed phantoms take shape for PET/CT pelvic use
Monday, November 30 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSE21-05 | Room S403A
German researchers are close to finalizing the creation of 3D-printed phantoms that mimic the human pelvis for quality assurance, research, and performance measurements for both PET/MRI and PET/CT devices.
PET/MRI trails PET/CT for detecting small lung nodules
Tuesday, December 1 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSG11-01 | Room S505AB
FDG-PET/MRI appears to detect fewer small nodules in the lungs than FDG-PET/CT, according to this study from researchers at the University of Düsseldorf.
PET/MRI matches PET/CT for head and neck cancer
Tuesday, December 1 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSG11-02 | Room S505AB
A new study from Swiss researchers is extolling the virtues of contrast-enhanced PET/MRI for patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer.
PET/MRI leads staging of invasive ductal breast cancer
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSG09-04 | Room S504CD
PET/MRI appears to lead the pack for the initial staging of invasive ductal breast cancer, thanks to the combined information provided by PET, diffusion-weighted MRI, and other MRI sequences.
New study evaluates ways to reduce PET/MRI scan time
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSG11-04 | Room S505AB
German researchers are investigating which MRI sequences are most effective for whole-body oncologic imaging to reduce PET/MRI scan time for patients.
FMISO-PET/MRI can help monitor cervical cancer patients
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSG09-05 | Room S504CD
In this scientific session, researchers will describe how multiparametric PET/MRI with a 3-tesla scanner and a fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) radiopharmaceutical could effectively monitor both morphological and functional changes during treatment for cervical cancer.
FAST PET/MRI aids staging of lymphoma patients
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSG11-05 | Room S505AB
Adding a first postcontrast subtracted (FAST) MR imaging protocol to PET/MRI matches PET/CT for staging lymphoma patients, with only a slight increase in scan time, according to researchers from Germany.
FDG-PET/MRI bests DWI-MRI for lymphoma
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSG11-06 | Room S505AB
In another study led by Dr. Johannes Grueneisen from University Hospital Essen, researchers found that FDG-PET/MRI was better than diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI-MRI) alone for detecting malignant and benign lesions in lymphoma patients.
FDG-PET/MRI with DWI advances lymphoma diagnosis
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSG11-07 | Room S505AB
FDG-PET/MRI with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) shows greater diagnostic value for lymphoma than FDG-PET/CT, while delivering less radiation, according to this study from the Medical University of Vienna.
NaF-FDG-PET/MRI tops bone scintigraphy for skeletal disease
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSG09-08 | Room S504CD
PET/MRI with sodium fluoride (NaF) and FDG is superior to bone scintigraphy for evaluating skeletal disease, according to this study from U.S. researchers.
Whole-body PET/MRI equals PET/CT for focal bone lesion detection
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSG11-08 | Room S505AB
In this Tuesday session, a group from Washington University in St. Louis will detail the efficacy of whole-body PET/MRI for detecting FDG-avid focal bone lesions.
FDG-PET/MRI enhances breast cancer diagnosis and staging
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ02-01 | Room E450A
Multiparameter FDG-PET/MRI can improve the specificity of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, which could lead to more-accurate staging of breast lesions and fewer false positives and unnecessary biopsies.
Ga-68 PSMA PET/CT proves valuable for prostate cancer
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ14-01 | Room S504CD
Gallium-68 (Ga-68) prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT is accurate for staging and restaging patients with prostate cancer, according to this paper from Mumbai, India.
Study explores PET/CT parameters to predict NSCLC outcomes
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ17-01 | Room S505AB
Pretreatment volumetric PET/CT parameters, such as metabolic tumor volume and total lesion glycolysis, are strong predictors of overall survival for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to this study to be presented on Tuesday afternoon.
PEM device receives kudos from Dutch researchers
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSJ02-02 | Room E450A
A Spanish company's positron emission mammography (PEM) system is drawing positive reviews from Dutch researchers, who will share their thoughts in this afternoon session.
Mayo Clinic study shows advantages of MBI
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSJ02-05 | Room E450A
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, have concluded that molecular breast imaging (MBI) may be a better option than breast-specific gamma imaging, especially for low-dose breast imaging.
PET/MRI lends a hand in challenging cervical cancer cases
Wednesday, December 2 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSK14-02 | Room N229
A new German study has added to the evidence that PET/MRI can be a valuable resource in oncology applications, especially in difficult-to-diagnose cases.
Bone mets no match for hybrid 3D hot-spot analysis of PET/CT
Wednesday, December 2 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m.| NM223-SD-WEB11 | Room S503AB
A technique that identifies bone metastasis "hot spots" automatically from PET/CT could vastly improve radiologists' ability to diagnose and follow-up patients with bone cancer.
FDG-PET/MRI study breaks ground in rare inflammatory condition
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSM14-02 | Room S504CD
Another group from Germany is reporting promising results of FDG-PET/MRI for idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis, a rare inflammatory condition in which a fibrotic mass surrounds the abdominal aorta and can cause severe complications, such as renal failure.
PET/CT could predict cardiac sarcoidosis outcomes
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSM16-02 | Room S505AB
In this study, researchers used PET/CT perfusion to predict the risk of poor outcomes among patients with cardiac sarcoidosis.
Time-of-flight PET/MRI takes off with cardiac sarcoidosis
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSM14-04 | Room S504CD
Simultaneous cardiac PET/MRI is getting the thumbs up from researchers who found that the hybrid modality produces diagnostic-quality images with less radiation dose than PET/CT.
FDG-PET/CT can help find hidden infections
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSM14-05 | Room S504CD
In this afternoon session, researchers from India will discuss FDG-PET/CT's usefulness for detecting hidden infections, which can cause pyrexia, or an increase in body temperature.
Is PET/MRI best for evaluating myocardial ischemia?
Thursday, December 3 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSQ02-04 | Room S502AB
In this presentation, a group from Washington University in St. Louis will detail the benefits of perfusion PET/MRI for comprehensive myocardial ischemic evaluation.
SPECT/CT can aid lymphoscintigraphy for sentinel nodes
Thursday, December 3 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSQ15-06 | Room S505AB
SPECT/CT can complement planar lymphoscintigraphy to depict unseen sentinel nodes in patients with invasive breast cancer, according to this study from the Netherlands.
PET/MRI with time-of-flight proves worthy in oncology study
Thursday, December 3 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ15-09 | Room S505AB
Swiss researchers are reporting early success in their endeavor to develop a PET/MRI technology that features a new PET detector and adds MRI time-of-flight capabilities.