The International Relations Committee (IRC) of the ANZSNM was established to assist the Federal Council on matters relating to a) ANZSNM relations with international Nuclear Medicine bodies, and b) co-ordination of training-related activities in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere, particularly in developing countries.
The creation of the IRC by the ANZSNM Federal Council was in response to a recognised need to improve interactions with major overseas Nuclear Medicine Societies and Associations, particularly as local issues are inextricably linked and impacted by overseas trends in nuclear medicine practice. In addition, the need to take a greater role in the Asia-Oceania region, particularly in teaching and training, was identified as a key strategic goal for the ANZSNM. We operate under the following Terms of Reference.
In the last 12 months the IRC has been involved in scientific and strategic exchanges with major Nuclear Medicine Societies/Associations (SNMMI, EANM, AOFNMB, ARCCNM, ALASBIMN), and IAEA/WHO, through representation at meetings at conferences, engagement in projects, and through ongoing involvement in WFNMB activities. This has resulted in an increased profile of ANZSNM activities by the global nuclear medicine leadership, and opportunities for involvement in key strategic projects.
In 2018, a Lancet Oncology Commission in Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine was established to review the global status of imaging in the management of cancer patients, and to provide guidance and recommendations for infrastructure, equipment, workforce and clinical guidelines for cancer imaging in developed and developing countries. ANZSNM is a formal participant in this project, which is being co-ordinated by all major Nuclear Medicine and Radiology societies, as well as IAEA and WHO. Prof. Andrew Scott is on the Executive Committee of this project, and meetings at RSNA in December 2018 and ECR in February 2019 have been held to develop this project. Initial reports are planned for late 2019, with submission to IAEA and WHO and publication in Lancet Oncology to follow. Updates will be provided to ANZSNM members during the next 12 months.
Following meetings with SNMMI and EANM during 2018 regarding the success of the ARTnet clinical trials program, further discussions are underway to establish similar programs in these regions, with input from ARTnet. This reflects the impact of the ARTnet program in the international nuclear medicine community and is being facilitated by the IRC.
ANZSNM was also represented in a final IAEA Regional Cooperative Agreement project RAS/6/083 "Improving patient care and enhancing government participation in Nuclear Medicine programs" meeting in Singapore in December 2018. This program has resulted in enhanced teaching and training of nuclear medicine professionals, and increasing referrals for nuclear medicine studies, throughout the Asia-Oceania region. ANZSNM participation included hosting a teaching program during the WFNMB conference in April 2018, and provision of experts to training sessions run by IAEA in Thailand.
ANZSNM members are actively involved in a number of training programs developed specifically for developing countries. Some of the programs, which are endorsed by the Society as part of its commitment to supporting education and training, include:
The University of Sydney offers a professional development program on PET-CT for physicians, scientists and technologists and is designed to integrate knowledge of safety, technical and clinical understanding. Through seminars, workshops, case studies, and field experiences, participants will benefit from a comprehensive and structured 2-week training course.
The distance training program, designed for Nuclear Medicine Technologists in developing countries, was initiated and developed in Australia under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna. DAT has been adopted as the national training program for technologists in many Asia and Pacific countries, Latin America and more recently introduced to North Africa and Eastern Europe. This has resulted in translations into Chinese, Spanish and French. During 2010, the DAT program was made available online via the DAT-OL website with the inclusion of training modules in SPECT/CT and PET/CT attracting participation in other regions such as South Africa and UK. This professional development program has ongoing enhancements of program content and delivery to keep abreast of the needs of special interest groups in the nuclear medicine.