Society News Archive

15 June 2013
Stabin Honored With Hal Anger Lectureship & Award by the SNMMI

Michael G. Stabin, PhD, CHP, was honored with the Hal Anger Lectureship & Award at the annual meeting of the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), giving his lecture at the plenary session. The Anger Award is one of the major research awards given by the SNMMI. It is named for Hal O. Anger, who invented the Anger camera (now known as gamma cameras) and well counters.

The message of Stabin's lecture was that patient-specific dosimetry is a must in diagnosis and therapy using radiopharmaceuticals. "Patients are different, they need different therapy," he said. He asserted that treating all nuclear medicine patients with a single, uniform method is consciously choosing that the patient be treated with a lower standard of care than patients who receive radiation therapy planning. There is a new generation of dose phantoms and selection of sophisticated dose-planning tools and methods that can be used to incorporate dose calculations into clinical therapy planning. Stabin and his award and lecture were featured in Medical Imaging on 12 June 2013.

Following is a summary of his article on the topic—"The Case for Patient-Specific Dosimetry in Radionuclide Therapy"—which was published in Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals (Volume 23, Number 3, 2008):

In this review of the literature and general practice in the use of radiopharmaceuticals for therapy, an argument is provided to demonstrate that the use of patient-individualized radiation dose assessment should become routine in these forms of therapy, as they are in other uses of radiation in therapy. Individual objections to patient-specific dosimetry will be raised and addressed, using findings presented in the literature. Such approaches are superior to the use of a fixed activity or activity per unit body weight approach in nuclear medicine therapy, which is current practice. It will be demonstrated that standardized and automated methods, with adjustment for patient-specific physical and biokinetic data, are of similar cost and difficulty to those used in other therapeutic modalities. Most importantly, the data show that careful use of patient- individualized dose calculations will produce calculated radiation dose estimates that correlate well with observed effects and that use of a dosimetry-based approach will result in better patient outcomes, improving the quality of medical care for patients and reducing costs for the institutions involved. The conclusion of this analysis is that the time has come for this reasonable paradigm to become routine practice.

Stabin is a researcher at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is a Board member of the Health Physics Society and the president of RADAR - the RAdiation Dose Assessment Resource.