Related Resource

Advancing Nuclear Medicine Through Innovation (September 2007)

Report in Brief

The variety of technologies and procedures that comprise nuclear medicine are now a routine and vital part of diagnosing cancers, cardiovascular disease, and certain neurological disorders, as well as treating some cancers. At the request of the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council assembled a committee to review the current state of the science in nuclear medicine, identify future opportunities in nuclear medicine research, and recommend ways to reduce impediments to advancing the field. The report identifies a number of exciting emerging opportunities in nuclear medicine, including the ability to understand addictions and depression, to better assess the effectiveness of drugs, and to individualize cancer therapies. However, to realize these promises, federal support is needed to overcome such issues as the shortage of clinical and research personnel, an inadequate supply of radionuclides for research, and cumbersome regulatory requirements.