Project Description

Dear TV Producer:

* * * As a man recites a poem, the area of his brain responsible for speech lights up on a giant video screen–a computer is actually reading his mind!

* * * Suspecting a patient has a treatable heart disorder, a doctor makes several slices into a high-tech image of the organ, locates the problem and plans appropriate treatment.

* * * A breast cancer patient spends several minutes under a sophisticated camera and knows with almost certainty that her disease has not spread, giving her important peace of mind.

A trip into the 21st century?

Scenes from a science fiction movie?

These events are taking place today in state-of-the-art scientific research facilities and a small but growing number of advanced nuclear diagnostic imaging centers.

Allowing scientists and doctors to peer inside the human body and actually watch it function, cutting- edge nuclear imaging technology is helping shape scientific research in almost every biological field and holds promise to dramatically change the face of disease diagnosis and treatment. A sophisticated biotech tool, it can detect the early warning signs of many diseases before they are apparent in other ways so that appropriate treatment may begin immediately.

Currently, nuclear medicine can detect certain types of cancer at the earliest possible stages as well as offer a precise diagnosis of certain heart conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. It is unlocking the mysteries of drug addiction and the innermost secrets of the brain. At the center of these developments are two ground-breaking nuclear medical technologies–PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and SPECT (Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography)–which utilize minute amounts of radioactive substances and a dizzying array of high-tech equipment to capture computerized images of the body at work. The procedure typically involves less exposure to radiation than a day at the beach.

“Today, thanks to new technological advances, nuclear medicine now contributes vital information about body metabolism and function,” says Dr. Randall A. Hawkins, Associate Professor of Radiological Sciences at U.C.L.A. “Some believe it will be the single most influential force in disease diagnosis and treatment in the future.” He points out U.C.L.A. has played a key role in developing a number of significant new imaging procedures, as well as new procedures to diagnose breast cancer and cure epilepsy in young children.

Over 5,000 professionals–many world-renowned experts in the field–will gather for presentation of over 1000 papers, posters and exhibits highlighting the newest medical and research advances and the latest high-tech equipment for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine June 9 to 12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Dr. Hawkins, extremely articulate and well-informed about the entire field, or another nuclear medicine expert would make a fascinating guest on your show in connection with the event. A variety of dramatic visuals are available, including color video tapes and slides of nuclear images of thoughts lighting up a human brain, a heart beating, blood flowing through the circulatory system and much more. With its wide variety of special exhibitions, the convention itself also offers dramatic visual opportunities.

The presentation might focus on:

  • The field of nuclear medicine in general and provide an overview of the dramatic effects it is having in unlocking the secrets of the human body and in disease diagnosis and treatment.
  • Nationally recognized researchers in the field and their most recent accomplishments.
  • Newly unveiled research on how the brain functions and the effect of cocaine and other drugs on the brain.
  • New developments in breast cancer, including new diagnostic procedures that are available today and others that hold promise for important new treatment methods in the future.
  • Exciting career opportunities for nuclear medical technologists due to the severe shortage nationwide. Training may be completed in two years, with an excellent starting salary.
  • New diagnostic techniques for Alzheimer’s disease of special relevance to our aging population.
  • New developments in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

Nuclear medicine has had significant impact on virtually every field of medicine. If you have a specific area of interest, we would be happy to arrange fan interview with an internationally recognized expert on the topic of your choice.

We’ll call you shortly to follow up.


Jeanne-Marie Phillips