#TheFutureIsYours Prescribing a healthier future for Europeans
CoViD-19: Inflammation and Molecular Imaging
The workshop is part of the MEDAMI workshop series organised since 2001 by Franco Garibaldi, an INFN physicist in Italy. It will be general enough to be all inclusive, but focused on inflammation (in CoViD-19) and on relevant imaging modalities, primarily Molecular Imaging but also X-ray radiography, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, etc. The key clinical system in that task is PET/CT but also other hybrid techniques. We want to understand the objective relative roles of different imaging modalities in the management of this devastating disease, while manifesting our pro-nuclear medicine initial “bias” that we are willing to openly discuss and learn from the broad group of experts.
A partial list of specific subjects to explore:
• Early diagnosis, staging and follow up – roles of all modalities with emphasis on molecular imaging
• Long-term side effects of inflammation, typically discovered by the structural techniques already after the damage is done (example: lungs)
• New advanced dynamic total body/multi-organ (systemic) imaging PET technologies (that are already available in the research arena and are constantly being improved, could translate into increased sensitivity of early detection and differentiation between conditions)
• Issue of cost and dissemination of the new molecular techniques – how to develop economical robust solutions
• Connection to the society via the important media representatives as the director of an important newspaper in Italy
• Improvement of dissemination of the new modern Molecular Imaging approaches around the world
Event reportFollowing the 20years long tradition of MEDAMI (Mediterranean workshops on Advanced Molecular Imaging) addressing different medical challenges from the point of view of molecular imaging in a mixed forum of medical doctors and physicists, the organizers decided this time to focus on the CoViD-19 pandemic and to discuss how molecular imaging techniques could help deciphering the complex interplay between the immune system and inflammation. During 4 days (May 20-23), the workshop gathered in virtual mode more than 200 participants from several European countries and from the USA. Infectiologists, virologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine practitioners, physicists and technologists, but also medical officers at the European Commission and at the NIH (National Institute of Health) in United States, exchanged their experience and ideas on the different aspects of the pandemic, and on the possibilities offered by molecular imaging techniques for the diagnostic as well as for understanding the spread of the infection to different organs and the mechanisms leading to long-covid in some patients. The impressive progress in nuclear medicine, with the emergence of the Total Body and Time-of-Flight PET scanners, boosting the sensitivity of these imaging modalities by orders of magnitude have also been discussed, with their potential to open interesting perspectives for dynamic parametric imaging at the whole body level. The workshop was concluded by a round table discussion, where lessons learned from the pandemic were discussed and an unanimous message was addressed to policy makers in the health sector to create more incentives for a pluridisciplinary approach of medical challenges, and for promoting Open Science, favoring an easier access to al relevant data, along the line successfully followed by the rapid dissemination of the genomic sequence of the virus.
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