SNM congratulates NOPR and its supporting organizations on successful conclusion of project

April 02, 2008

Reston, Va.-- SNM congratulates the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI), the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN) on the recent release of significant data from the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) that dramatically illustrate the effectiveness of positron emission tomography (PET) in the diagnosis of cancer.

The study--reported in an article authored by Hillner et al. published March 24 online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology--analyzed data from nearly 23,000 patients contributed by more than 1200 facilities nationwide. It showed that clinicians changed the intended care of more than one in three cancer patients as the result of FDG-PET scan findings.

FDG-PET, also called PET imaging or PET scan, is a test that images the function of cells to show differences between healthy tissue and diseased tissue. It is used to evaluate various neurological and cardiac disorders as well as for diagnosing, staging, and monitoring the treatment of many different cancers.

In response to this positive data, NOPR has formally asked CMS to reconsider the current National Coverage decision on FDG-PET to end the data collection requirements for diagnosis, staging and restaging. CMS will review the data and issue their decision regarding reimbursement for PET scans covered only through the NOPR.

The authors believe that "the data collected by NOPR fulfils an unmet need with its primary scientific aim of measuring the impact of PET on patient management in a manner that is minimally intrusive to care providers." They also state that "our findings are representative of Medicare patients for whom PET would be ordered if it were covered by CMS for the expanded indications."

The NOPR was developed in response to a proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand coverage for FDG-PET to include cancers and indications not presently eligible for Medicare reimbursement, including cancers of the ovary, uterus, prostate, pancreas, stomach, kidney and bladder (for a complete list, go to www.cancerpetregistry.org). Medicare reimbursement for these cancers was provided if the patient's referring physician and provider submitted data to NOPR to assess the impact of PET on cancer patient management.
-end-
The NOPR is sponsored by the AMI and managed by the ACR through the ACRIN. The registry received input from--and is endorsed by--ACR, the American Society for Clinical Oncology and SNM. The NOPR Working Group was chaired by Bruce Hillner, M.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University and co-chaired by Barry Siegel, M.D., Washington University; R. Edward Coleman, M.D., Duke University; and Anthony Shields, M.D., Wayne State University.

For more information about the NOPR, please visit www.cancerpetregistry.org.

About SNM--Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy

SNM is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of molecular and nuclear imaging to diagnose, manage and treat diseases in women, men and children. Founded more than 50 years ago, SNM continues to provide essential resources for health care practitioners and patients; publish the most prominent peer-reviewed journal in the field (Journal of Nuclear Medicine); host the premier annual meeting for medical imaging; sponsor research grants, fellowships and awards; and train physicians, technologists, scientists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists in state-of-the-art imaging procedures and advances. SNM members have introduced--and continue to explore--biological and technological innovations in medicine that noninvasively investigate the molecular basis of diseases, benefiting countless generations of patients. SNM is based in Reston, Va.; additional information can be found online at http://www.snm.org.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

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