Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland will be the site of the 3rd Theranostics World Congress on Ga-68 & PRRT from March 12-14, 2015. Co-sponsored by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Congress is intended for those interested in translational research and current state-of-the-art molecular imaging using 68Ga PET radiopharmaceuticals and radionuclide therapy.
The final day of the Congress, Saturday, will feature a free patient program, made possible by the generous support of nonprofit sponsors, the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation and the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.
Theranostics is a term that defines ongoing efforts to develop more specific, individualized therapies for various diseases, and to combine diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities into a single agent. Personalized medicine is a rapidly growing field of healthcare in which treatments are as individualized as the disease they are targeting. Factors taken into consideration are each person’s unique clinical, genetic, genomic, and environmental information. This is especially important for neuroendocrine cancers such as carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors because, according to Professor Richard P. Baum, Co-Chair of the Congress Committee and expert on PRRT, NET cancer is not one disease. NET tumors are not a single tumor entity, he explains, but probably a 100 tumor entity with many different features. Thus the treatment for each patient must be based upon whether the tumor is progressive, aggressive, and the biological behavior of the tumor.
Plenary lectures and invited talks by world renowned experts will focus on 11 key areas during the Congress ranging from 68Ge/68Ga Generators, Post-Processing and Synthesis Modules to Theranostic Targeting Vectors to Peptide Receptor Radiotherapy: Status Quo and Where to Go. Presentations on clinical applications and patient advocacy are new to this Congress, providing a unique perspective for attendees.
The Saturday, March 14 program for patients will feature sessions on:
• State-of-the-Art Management of NETs: Clinician and Patient Perspectives
• Gallium Approval in the US: Background and Moving Forward
• How to Deliver Theranostics
• Congress Highlights and Looking to the Future
Why are the Ga-68 scan and PRRT so important for carcinoid/NET patients? They are in the forefront of imaging, diagnostic, treatment and follow-up tools for NET cancer. The Ga-68 scan is extraordinarily clear and sensitive, explains Dr. Baum, and can detect neuroendocrine tumors as small as 4 millimeters. It is also an excellent tool for measuring the density of a patient’s receptors. This is especially important as the only way PRRT can work is for patients to have somatostatin receptors in their tumors.
PRRT is effective, says Dr. Baum, even for very advanced cases. The treatment leads to a significant improvement of clinical symptoms such as decreases in flushing, pain and diarrhea; weight gain in underweight patients; the ability to give up octreotide therapy; and improvement of overall health.
Widely used in Europe, 68Ga PET radiopharmaceuticals have only been used in the US in investigational trials under INDs. With the potential of an approved agent available in the United States in the near future, the Congress is especially timely.
The Patient Education Day of the 3rd Theranostics World Congress will afford patients and their caregivers the opportunity to attend the final day of the congress (Saturday) focusing on patients and current perspectives on imaging and therapy for NET patients using Theranostics as well as the availability in the US at this time.
Registration for patients and their caregivers for Saturday is free of charge. Pre-registration is required and must be done prior to March 8th. No CME credits are available for registration through this program. To register, click here: https://norcalcarcinet.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/register&id=12&reset=1