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