Progress in nuclear medicine has always been closely linked to the development of new radiopharmaceuticals and the efficient production of relevant radioisotopes. Radiopharmaceuticals are an important tool for a better understanding of human diseases and for developing effective treatments. The availability of new radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals may produce unprecedented solutions to clinical problems by providing a better diagnosis and more efficient therapy.
Impressive progress has been made recently in radioisotope production technologies owing to the introduction of high-energy and high-current cyclotrons and to the growing interest in the use of linear accelerators (linacs) for radioisotope production. This has allowed broader access to several new radionuclides, including gallium-68, copper-64 and zirconium-89. The development of high power electron linacs has resulted in the availability of theranostic beta emitters such as scandium-47 and copper-67. Alternative accelerator-based production methods for technetium-99m, which remains the most widely used diagnostic radionuclide, are also being developed using both electron and proton accelerators.
Special attention has recently been given to alpha-emitting radionuclides for in vivo therapy. A few years ago, the first alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical, Xofigo, (pharmaceutical grade radium-223 dichloride solution) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for cancer treatment. Many other alpha-emitting radiopharmaceuticals based on astatine-211, bismuth-212, bismuth-213, actinium-225, radium-223, lead-212, thorium-227, and terbium-149, are currently being developed. However, demand for these alpha-emitting radionuclides significantly exceed their supply. Numerous research groups worldwide are working on efficiently producing these much sought after alpha emitters.
The field of radiopharmaceuticals has continuously evolved thanks to the immense contributions of scientists from diverse disciplines, such as radiochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and pharmacology. Several milestones can be cited in the trajectory of this growth, which include the continuing development of technetium-99m radiopharmaceuticals, automated synthesis of fluorine-18 labelled compounds, radiopharmaceuticals labelled with generator-eluted gallium-68, labelled peptides and monoclonal antibodies for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of tumours. The concept of theranostic radioisotopes, which combines the diagnosis and therapy properties of one radioisotope or a pair of similar radioisotopes, may provide an attractive paradigm for the future development of medical applications of radionuclides. Biomolecules developed for a specific molecular target and labelled with theranostic radionuclides provide clinically significant information for diagnosis, suitability of radionuclide therapy, dosimetry and post therapy planning, making personalized medicine a reality.
The International Symposium on Trends in Radiopharmaceuticals (ISTR-2019) will provide an international forum to scientists and professionals working in the fields of the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals in order to discuss its most recent developments. Various topics will be covered during the symposium, including the development, production and uses of diagnostic, therapeutic, and theranostic radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, as well as regulatory and licensing issues related to their production. Education, certification and training methodologies will also be addressed.
The ISTR-2019 will provide an opportunity for chemists, biologists, pharmacists, physicists, medical researchers and other experts in the international community to meet and discuss their most recent work. This meeting will help maintain existing, and establish new, collaborations to address common problems and expand the worldwide use of radiopharmaceuticals.
The symposium programme will consist of an opening session, plenary sessions, technical sessions, poster and interactive content sessions, exhibitions, and a closing session. The opening session will include welcoming addresses by representatives of the IAEA, cooperating organizations, and other relevant organizations. The plenary sessions will continue with a combination of invited keynote presentations and submitted papers addressing the main themes and topics of the symposium. Each technical session will include presentations and/or panel discussions delivered by participants which will have been selected based on the abstracts submitted. The symposium will also include poster sessions, and sufficient time will be provided for discussion and interaction with colleagues. The final plenary session on the last day of the symposium will be dedicated to conclusions and recommendations on the way forward.
The scope of the conference covers, but is not limited to, the following topical areas:
- Production of PET- and SPECT-based diagnostic, therapeutic and theranostic medical radioisotopes;
- Production of radionuclide generators;
- Production of PET- and SPECT-based diagnostic, therapeutic, and theranostic radiopharmaceuticals;
- Research and development related to the production of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals;
- Quality control and quality assurance of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals;
- Pre-clinical evaluation of radiopharmaceuticals;
- Good manufacturing practices for the production of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals;
- Design of industrial, hospital and centralized radiopharmacy facilities;
- Health regulatory aspects related to the production of radiopharmaceuticals;
- Radiopharmacy chapters in pharmacopoeias; and
- Education, including e-learning, certification and training methodologies for professionals involved in radiopharmacy.
The target audience for this symposium comprises of, but is not limited to: (radio)chemists, (radio)pharmacists, biologists, physicists, technologists, medical researchers, policymakers and health regulators, educators and other professionals working in the fields of the production and uses of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. The IAEA welcomes and encourages the participation of individuals from developing countries, women, and early career professionals, including students.
All persons wishing to participate in the symposium must be designated by an IAEA Member State or should be members of organizations that have been invited to attend.
In order to be designated by an IAEA Member State, participants are requested to send the following form(s) (as applicable) to their competent national authority (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mission to the IAEA, or National Atomic Energy Authority):
Participation Form (Form A): participation only; no deadline if only Form A is required.
Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B): participants submitting a paper through INDICO have to send the completed and signed Form B together with Form A to their competent national authority for transmission to the IAEA (Official.Mail@iaea.org) by 8 April 2019
Grant Application Form (Form C): participants requesting financial support from the IAEA have to complete Form C and send it together with Form A (and Form B, if applicable) to the competent national authority for transmission to the IAEA (Official.Mail@iaea.org) by 8 April 2019. Form C must be stamped and signed by the competent national authority.
Participants who are members of an organization invited to attend are requested to send the above form(s) through their organization to the IAEA (Official.Mail@iaea.org).
In addition, participants are requested to pre-register for the symposium online through the IAEA web page: www.iaea.org/events/istr-2019.
Participants who register in accordance with the above procedure will receive further information from the IAEA approximately three months before the opening of the symposium.
All papers submitted — other than invited keynote papers — must be original work and should not have been published elsewhere. Persons who wish to present a paper at the symposium — either orally or in the form of a poster — must submit an abstract on one of the topics listed under Section C. The abstract should give enough information on the contents of the proposed paper to enable the Programme Committee to evaluate it. Introductory remarks and general matters should not be included. The accepted abstracts will be reproduced in their unedited form in the electronic compilation of abstracts, which will be distributed to all participants during the symposium.
F1. Submission of Abstracts
Abstracts must be sent in electronic format (no paper copies) directly to the IAEA. For instructions on how to upload the abstracts to the symposium’s web browser-based file submission system please click here. The abstracts must be submitted through this system by 8 April 2019. No other form of submission will be accepted.