Health professionals interested in theranostics – a patient-centred and personalized form of care – are invited to register for the IAEA’s first virtual conference, which will take place on 4 and 5 September 2019.
The International Virtual Conference on Theranostics (iViCT 2019) will focus on the status and trends in theranostic approaches for managing patients with thyroid cancer, for which the theranostic approach has been well established, as well as prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumours, where theranostics is emerging and becoming an essential tool. It will also cover trends in the field and the way forward in disseminating such an innovative personalized medicine approach for the treatment of cancer patients worldwide.
Theranostics refers to the coupling of diagnostics and therapy, which enables medical professionals to focus on the specific needs of individual patients.
Each cancer is made up of different types of cells. For optimal medical care the selection of treatment should rely on the identification of cancer subtypes possible to easily characterize using nuclear medicine, enabling a tailored treatment approach. In theranostics, similar molecules embedded with different radioactive isotopes are used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. While one radioisotope is used to identify the cancer location and spread, as well as the specific type of cancer cell, with high accuracy, another emits radiation to destroy cancer cells. Compared to conventional radiation treatments, which more broadly target the disease and its general location, the theranostic approach allows increased specificity in targeting the tumour with radioactive bullets while sparing surrounding healthy tissues, increasing both the effectiveness and safety of treatment.
“Theranostics is a major topic in global health precisely because it focuses on the specific needs of each patient,” said Diana Paez, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging Section and Scientific Secretary of the conference. “By hosting this open-access conference entirely online and accommodating different time-zones, we can both share research and expertise with the whole medical world and foster interactive participation with the ultimate goal of providing educational opportunities globally.”
Participants will reflect on current status as well as challenges faced in low- and middle-income countries with regards to theranostic applications; exchange information on advances in the field; identify future developments and trends; and discuss the potential role of the IAEA and other international organizations in supporting countries in establishing theranostic applications.
High-level international experts will hold lectures and lead panel discussions, with attendees having the opportunity to actively participate through virtual case reviews and chat rooms. Participants will also be able to gain Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits by officially registering to the livestream and taking brief quizzes using the conference app, after individual sessions.
To accommodate different time-zones, sessions will be conducted and livestreamed on two separate occasions. All sessions will be recorded and published online after the conference.