Theranostics Course 2022

We thank all those involved who helped us deliver an outstandingly successful AANMS Theranostics Course over 27-28 August 2022.

Recorded lectures from the Course will be available online soon; Course participants and AANMS members will be advised when these are available and how to access them.

The next AANMS Theranostics Course will be held in 2024. We look forward to seeing you there!

Some feedback/comments from attendees:

I have been attending local, national and international conferences since the mid 80s, sometimes wide-awake, and sometimes badly jet-lagged but always looking for educational opportunities.

The Brisbane 2022 Theranostics Course, run by the AANMS last weekend, was the finest educational event that I have ever attended. This meeting showcased the very best of the Australasian Nuclear Medicine community, and in particular the strong collaborative efforts across the country under-pinned by brilliant science, planning and logistics.

It was enlightening and invigorating to hear how current luminaries in the field started off on their own theranostics journey, evolving into the current powerhouse and world-leading scientific efforts, with an absolute focus on MDTs and patients.

The meeting itself addressed the key questions… the why, how, and when of theranostics, and I must say that the “by who” all seemed to be in attendance, both in person and virtually.

Every professional group in the Nuclear Medicine community was represented, each contributing their skills and expertise to this meeting to help others familiarise themselves with this rapidly expanding area of Nuclear Medicine. Patient groups and industry were also represented at the meeting, providing important input and perspective.

The invited speakers also included insightful and highly skilled clinicians from various specialties, including Surgery, Endocrinology and Medical Oncology contributing powerfully to the educational value of the meeting. In particular, I found the MDT type case discussions to be a great learning exercise… real cases, with all of life’s real complexities and challenges thrown in.

I did wonder why this meeting was so strong, and I think the answer is that it was designed by our own experts to meet local needs. In addition, it was delivered by people who are widely acknowledged world experts in the field, supported by industry and AANMS who want to see the field progress.

The AANMS has been very clever in more ways than one; they invited a senior Department of Health representative along as part of an ongoing educational exercise and liaison opportunity, with this being an extension of a growing program of relationship building with the Commonwealth.

I commend and warmly thank the organisers of this meeting in particular, Sze Ting Lee and David Pattison and would encourage everyone to get access to the online material from this meeting as well as attend any future such events. You will see me there, for sure.

As final comments, the area of theranostics currently has the same feel as PET did 20-25 years ago when it was just starting on its rapid growth phase. Theranostics is our current “rising tide”, and this will lift all of our Nuclear Medicine “boats” if we prepare ourselves. Collaboration between sites is the so-called “secret sauce” leading to success, and this will be to the benefit of patients, other clinicians as well as current and future trainees in all of our sub-disciplines.

It is indeed humbling indeed to witness the world-leading excellence that now exists in the Nuclear Medicine community here.

Dr David Farlow (present attendee)
Director, Department of Nuclear Medicine, PET and Ultrasound, Westmead Hospital 

Dear Sze Ting, David, Louise et al,

Thank you so much for inviting me to your inaugural theranostics course. I really enjoyed the sessions I attended and was blown away by the attendance and engagement of the AANMS community. I look forward to continuing to discuss/ explore ways where we can collaborate.

Warm regards,

Margaret McJannett
Chief Executive Officer, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group Ltd

I wish to thank the organising committee and the speakers who presented at the recent Theranostics conference in Brisbane.

This was one of the best conferences I have been to; well run, very informative with the multidisciplinary presentations of the highest standards.

Please, can we have more.

Congratulations.

Dr Bob Dickinson (present attendee)

Thank you for the invitation to the course. I really appreciated all of the effort that David, yourself and the team put in.

As a non-medical person I found the course really well done – good progression of topics and I learnt a lot – and it provided me a better understanding of where things are going in this space.

It was also good to meet a few people I have only been able to videoconference with over the last couple of years.

I really appreciate the invitation.

Michael Ryan, Director
DI Section – Department of Health representativecomment to STL

The course has been great.  All talks were wonderful.

Monica Rossleigh (present attendee)

Agree the theranostics course was a great success – certainly from the online perspective.

Michael Kitchener (virtual attendee)

AANMS Position Statement on Practice of Theranostics in Australia

Executive Summary

Therapeutic options in malignant disease are expanding rapidly with the aim of improving patient outcomes. With the increasing cost of health care, there is a need to ensure the most cost-effective modalities are both available and appropriately implemented as part of the armamentarium of therapies available for patients. Molecular imaging and radionuclide therapy are relatively new options that offers many benefits, including cost and safety, in comparison to those currently available.

Theranostics is a term that has been coined to cover the use of a radiopharmaceutical for both diagnosis and, after demonstrating appropriate levels of concentration of the radiopharmaceutical in tumours, subsequent therapy. This often, though not universally, involves a different isotope bound to the same targeting ligand.

This position statement establishes a consensus on recommendations regarding the care of patients receiving theranostic therapy and to support the provision of safe, high quality, targeted care by qualified professionals in this area. These recommendations include, but not limited to: identifying the optimal workplace and facility requirements; specialist training requirements; patient workflow and MDT requirements.

While a range of theranostic therapies are currently available, there is sufficient commonality among these therapies to allow uniform guidelines to be developed whilst accepting that some specific flexibility will be necessary. Important aspects of theranostics considered in the development of these guidelines include:

  • The rapidly evolving scientific and technological advances in the practice of theranostics often see a delay between availability and sufficient clinical evidence to indicate widespread use
  • The design of disease, and patient specific, treatment options and delivery methodologies
  • The complexity of managing patients with cancer when there is a wide range of differing treatment options each with their own inherent strengths and weaknesses. This has required a multidisciplinary approach for many therapies, particularly the newer ones, requiring input from medical experts in different sub-specialties to encompass all aspects of the patient’s current medical status in order to select the optimal treatment pathway.
  • The need to understand and respect patients’ values, goals, needs and financial situation, and engage them in an informative process of treatment options and shared decision-making
  • Requirements related to each patient’s disease, as well as the specific risks vs the benefits of the treatment, needs to be assessed by a multidisciplinary team. This assessment will be influenced by local capabilities that may change with time.

The AANMS is of the position that the development of skills and expertise in theranostics is necessary for its safe and effective use in a clinical setting and that these should also be AANMS Theranostics Position Statement maintained through life-long learning. A multidisciplinary approach to patient selection, management and administration of the therapy is a key component of theranostics treatments.