SASNM 2023 will be a four-day Congress with the theme “Going Back to our Roots”. The programme features international and local speakers sharing trends, case studies, and best practices across the topics of nuclear medicine imaging, therapy, radiotherapy, and physics.

Summary of Day 1 – Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The first day of the congress is focussed on Continuing Medical Education (CME) and offers two parallel streams. Stream 1 is dedicated to Nuclear Medicine (NM) Physicians, while Stream 2 is for Medical Physicists, Technologists, and Radiopharmacy Professionals.

Stream 1:

Prof. John Buscombe will deliver sessions on “Introduction to Theragnostics” and “Theragnostics of Thyroid Cancer.”

The topics of “Theragnostics of Metastatic Diseases in Bones” and “Theragnostics of Metastatic Diseases in the Liver” will also be covered by Prof. John Buscombe.

Additional topics include “Theragnostics of Neuroendocrine Tumours 1” and “Theragnostics of Neuroendocrine Tumours 2”.

Stream 2:

Prof. Michael Ljungberg will present on “Introduction to Quality Assurance Procedures” and “Quality Assurance Procedures Applied to Clinical Data”.

Other sessions will cover “Troubleshooting of Molybdenum-99 Generators”, “Microbiological Monitoring in the Hospital Radiopharmacy”, and “SPECT/CT Imaging Applications and Techniques”.

Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research and advancements in the field of Nuclear Medicine, with specific focus on theragnostics, neuroendocrine tumours, and quality assurance procedures.

After the educational sessions, participants are invited to enjoy a Networking Reception and Trivia Night, providing a fun and interactive way to connect with colleagues and peers in the field.

Summary of Day 2

The second day of the congress is filled with insightful sessions on various topics related to neuroimaging, paediatric imaging, nuclear medicine development in Africa, and translational research.

Session 1 – Neuroimaging:

The morning starts with a breakfast session sponsored by NuMeRI. The first session, “Neuroimaging”, discusses the current challenges in Neuropsychiatry and the role of Nuclear Medicine from a clinician’s perspective, presented by Prof. Laila Asmal. Mr. Leroy Africa presents the transitions in neurological imaging from a technologist’s point of view. Prof. James Warwick talks about the shift in neuroimaging, focussing on Alzheimer’s disease and beyond. Prof. Jan Rijn Zeevart discusses emerging radioisotopes, their production, and considerations of decay products. Dr. Catherine Driver explores the application of SPECT/CT and Cerenkov Luminescence for Imaging of Therapeutic Isotopes. Mr. Thokozani Mkhize presents a phantom study on optimising SPECT/CT whole-body bone scans’ time using image quality.

Session 2 – Paediatric Imaging:

This session is dedicated to paediatric imaging. Prof. Helen Nadel and Prof. Thomas Beyer engage in a debate on PET MRI vs. Whole-body PET for paediatric patients, with Prof. Dale Bailey as the facilitator. Mr. Mark Jassen provides a practical guide on paediatric positioning and imaging for dealing with crying children. Prof. Helen Nadel discusses new approaches to Neuroblastoma imaging. Dr. Anita Brink presents on Paediatrics Renograms, specifically focussing on obstructive uropathies and the considerations regarding kinking. During lunch, a symposium is held, featuring Mr. Duncan Macduff’s patient perspective on neuroendocrine tumours. Prof. Dale Bailey concludes the session with a talk on new molecular cancer treatment options in the 21st century.

Session 3 – Nuclear Medicine Imaging and Development in Africa:

The afternoon session highlights the progress and challenges of Nuclear Medicine in Africa. Dr. Diana Paez gives an overview of the current state of affairs. Prof. Francis Hasford discusses the challenges faced by Nuclear Medicine in Africa and the way forward. Ms. Maryke Lundie sheds light on the status of Radiopharmacists in South Africa. Ms. Samantha Du Plessis discusses the different operational levels of Radiopharmacy and when upgrades are necessary. Ms. Hendrietta Tlhapi talks about simplifying licensing requirements for Nuclear Medicine facilities.

Session 4 – Translational Research:

The last session of the day focusses on translational research. Prof. Thomas Ebenhan presents current pre-clinical research in targeted infection imaging. Prof. Nozipho Nyakale discusses the progress of clinical infection imaging, from bench to bedside. Ms. Erika Padilla-Morales explores dedicated breast molecular imaging. Prof. Shingai Mutambirwa provides insights from a Urologist’s viewpoint on Prostate Cancer. The day concludes with a panel discussion on guidelines for the use of therapeutic radionuclides, featuring Ms. Hendrietta Tlhapi, Dr. Hanlie Du Raan, Prof. Jan Rijn Zeevart, and Prof. M Sathekge.

Later in the evening, the ANP General Assembly takes place, followed by the SASNM Biennial General Assembly.

Summary of Day 3

The day begins with the Women’s Breakfast Symposium presented by NuMeRI, focussing on empowering women in the field of Nuclear Medicine. Prof. Irene Buvat discusses the capacitation of women in the industry. A Panel Discussion on alternative career pathways in Nuclear Medicine includes Ms. Dusty York, Ms. Andrea Dos Santos, Prof. Sharmilla Dorbala, Prof. Helen Nadel, with Dr. Nerisha Govender as the facilitator.

Session 5 – Endocrine and Neuroendocrine: imaging and therapy

Topics covered include differentiated thyroid cancer and its management in paediatric patients, neuroendocrine imaging and therapy, a parathyroid imaging update, and a historical perspective on technologists’ involvement in therapy.

The subsequent presentations cover studies related to imaging in small animals, radiation dose estimation for commuters from thyrotoxicosis patients, and the perceptions of Nuclear Medicine Technologists on PET/CT in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Session 6 – Cardiovascular imaging

This session features discussions on sarcoidosis from the clinicians’ and the imaging perspective, cardiac amyloidosis, flow to viability assessment, and an oral presentation comparing Coronary [Ga-68] Ga Nodagazol PET and Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring for evaluating atherosclerotic activity.

The lunch symposium, sponsored by AXIM, introduces an automated, vendor-neutral platform catering to Diagnostic and Therapy clinical needs in Nuclear Medicine.

Session 7 – Therapy

Therapy session concentrates on covering the current status of prostate cancer therapy, advances beyond Lutetium-177, radiopharmaceutical dosimetry challenges, and radiobiology in Nuclear Medicine. An oral presentation on Lu-177-PSMA Radioligand Therapy in chemotherapy-naïve patients is also included.

Session 8 –  Current state of affairs

A discussion encompassing the development of radionuclides for clinical applications, the application of Artificial Intelligence in Nuclear Medicine, and the future of hybrid imaging.

The day concludes with the Congress Awards Dinner, sponsored by NTP, honouring outstanding achievements in the field of Nuclear Medicine.

Summary of Day 4

Session 9 – Academic – Mentorship and Research

With an academic focus on mentorship and research, the final day starts with a series of discussions on academic pursuits and research challenges. Dr. Stuart More shares insights into the opportunities and challenges faced while pursuing a PhD, providing valuable guidance for aspiring researchers. Dr. Clifford Nxomani from the NRF presents on research infrastructure platforms that support discovery science, shedding light on the technological advancements available to researchers.

Prof. Mboyo-Di-Tamba Vangu delves into the politics of publishing with a talk titled “Publish or Perish”, discussing the pressures and ethical considerations surrounding academic publishing. Prof. Kgomotso Mokoala then emphasises the importance of diversifying research areas and explores the potential of Rhenium-188, drawing inspiration from the roots of scientific exploration.

Session 10 – Closing Ceremony

The final session of the day comprises a series of significant events. Dr. Julia Ambler addresses the ethics of research, emphasising the importance of maintaining ethical standards in scientific investigations. Prof. Michael Hofman will present on “Combination Therapies and Trials”, discussing the potential of combined treatment approaches in the field of medical physics. Prof. Dale Bailey will wrap up and present the congress highlights, summarising the key insights of the congress.

Finally, in memory of Chris Jansen, Dr. Moshe Modiselle will deliver the Chris Jansen Memorial Lecture, honouring his contributions to the field of medical physics.

The closing remarks will be given by Dr. Nerisha Govender, expressing gratitude to all participants and speakers for their contributions to the congress. Prof. Kgomotso Mokoala concludes the event by providing academic content highlights from the congress, leaving participants with valuable takeaways from the entire event.

Sessions areas

  • Cardiac

  • Cardiology

  • CNS

  • Endocrine

  • Ethics

  • Genito-Urinary / Renal

  • Infection and Inflammation

  • Oncology / Haematology

  • Paediatrics

  • Physics

  • Pulmonary

  • Radiography

  • Radiopharmacy

  • Radionuclide Therapies