RSNA 2021 Molecular Imaging

Road to RSNA 2021: Molecular Imaging Preview

By Will Morton, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 23, 2021

Presentations specific to COVID-19 are among the molecular imaging scientific sessions offered at RSNA 2021. Attendees will also enjoy research in oncologic and brain imaging, radionuclide therapy, PET radiopharmaceuticals, technical advances, and more.

PET radiotracer uptake has been found in axillary lymph nodes in patients who received COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines; however, Israeli researchers went a step further and analyzed whether F-18 FDG uptake is associated with the age and immune status of patients.

In addition, significant findings will be presented in a session dedicated to oncologic imaging, where the latest results will be discussed from an ongoing U.S. trial of F-18 fluoroestradiol (FES) PET/CT in women with invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).

F-18 FES was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2020 for detecting estrogen receptor-positive lesions in recurrent or metastatic breast cancer, but details on the performance of the tracer in women with ILC are sparse, according to researchers.

New PET tracers will also be on the spot at RSNA 2021 in studies evaluating their performance for diagnosing abnormal cholesterol metabolism and in vivo infection.

A group from the University of Michigan will report a breakthrough after 40 years of research in developing a low-dose F-18-based radiotracer compared with a radiopharmaceutical based on an iodine-131 isotope for imaging abnormal cholesterol metabolism due to high levels of adrenal aldosterone.

In another study, researchers are building on previous work showing a carbon-11-labeled D-methionine tracer they synthesized can help identify active bacterial infection versus sterile inflammation on PET imaging in mice.

RSNA 2021 molecular imaging presentations will also highlight the value of PET for assessing patient response to treatment. For example, in one talk, the study authors will discuss a novel approach in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer scheduled for focal ablation with high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy.

Attendees at RSNA 2021 will also be able to learn about technical advances in PET/CT imaging. In one session, for instance, researchers from the University of Cincinnati will present an ultrafast, low-dose PET/CT approach that appears equivalent to conventional imaging in patients with oncologic disease.

Often, advances in molecular imaging begin in the lab. That seems to be the case in one study highlighted at this year's conference that shows a common agent used in medication for asthma and cystic fibrosis appears to protect DNA from damage from ionizing radiation.

Keep reading for more highlights of some of the many molecular imaging research presentations and posters scheduled for this year's meeting. You can view the complete list of abstracts for the 2021 scientific and educational program on the RSNA website.

PET with F-18 fluoroestradiol tracer evaluated in women with breast cancer
Sunday, November 28 | 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSNMMI01-2 | Room N226
In this talk, researchers will discuss results of the first prospective study evaluating the performance of F-18 fluoroestradiol PET/CT in women with invasive lobular carcinoma breast cancer.
PET tracers can verify patient response to HIFU treatment
Sunday, November 28 | 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSNMMI01-5 | Room N226
In this molecular oncologic imaging presentation, researchers will report on the use of gallium-68-based radiotracers to assess response to high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy in prostate cancer patients.
Combining radiomics, AI with PET/MRI helps assess nodal status
Sunday, November 28 | 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSNMMI01-3 | Room N226
Here, researchers will talk about how applying radiomics and machine learning to FDG-PET/MRI can noninvasively assess nodal status and treatment planning for breast cancer patients.
PET/MRI shows prowess for nodal staging in breast cancer
Sunday, November 28 | 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSNMMI01-4 | Room N226
In this presentation, researchers will compare nodal staging between CT, MRI, and FDG-PET/MRI in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
Ultrafast low-dose PET/CT equivalent to conventional imaging for cancer
Sunday, November 28 | 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSNMMI02-2 | Room N226
In this session covering technical advances in molecular imaging, researchers will present findings of a prospective phase III trial comparing an ultrafast, low-dose, whole-body FDG-PET/CT approach with conventional imaging in patients with cancer.
Is PET radiotracer uptake in lymph nodes after COVID-19 vaccination associated with age?
Monday, November 29 | 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | SSNMMI03-6 | Room S402
Israeli researchers will offer findings in this presentation on PET/CT uptake in the deltoid muscle and axillary lymph nodes in patients who received COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines. The group explored whether uptake is associated with patient age and immune status.
FDG-PET/CT scans assessed for clinical utility in COVID-19
Monday, November 29 | 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | SSNMMI03-4 | Room S402
In this talk, researchers will present a study to determine imaging findings and the potential clinical utility of FDG-PET/CT in patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. They suggest FDG-PET/CT scans could be helpful in predicting disease severity.
PET/CT classifies subtypes in progressive nuclear palsy
Monday, November 29 | 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSNMMI04-4 | Room S405
In this session on brain imaging, researchers from India will present a study that elucidates patterns of characteristic hypometabolism on F-18 FDG PET/CT in various subtypes of progressive nuclear palsy and their correlation with core clinical features.
Antioxidant agent shows promise in reducing DNA damage from radiation
Tuesday, November 30 | 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | SSNMMI05-2 | Room E353C
In this session on advances in radionuclide therapy, researchers will present work on the identification and development of an antioxidant agent that may reduce damage to DNA caused by ionizing radiation.
PET/MRI assesses ankylosing spondylitis treatment
Thursday, December 2 | 9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. | SSNMMI07-4 | Room E450B
F-18 sodium fluoride PET/MR imaging of osteoblastic activity in ankylosing spondylitis patients can assess the effects of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy, according to German researchers presenting in this session.
PET tracer synthesized for imaging cholesterol metabolism
Thursday, December 2 | 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. | SSNMMI08-1 | Room N228
In this presentation, researchers will report a breakthrough after 40 years in the development of a new PET radiotracer for imaging abnormal cholesterol metabolism due to high levels of adrenal aldosterone.
New radiotracer promising for diagnosing infection in vivo
Prerecorded, available throughout meeting | SPR-NMMI-14
In this session exploring new frontiers in PET radiopharmaceuticals, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco will present results from an ongoing trial of a new carbon-11-labeled radiotracer that targets bacterial infection.
Is FDG uptake normal in patients after ascending aorta replacement?
Prerecorded, available throughout meeting | SPR-NMMI-16
In this presentation, Dutch cardiovascular imaging specialists will discuss interpreting normal F-18 FDG uptake on PET/CT after patients undergo combined aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement.