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VUMC named a Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence

Aug. 23, 2023, 10:19 AM


by Jackson Hicks

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been designated a Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. It is the only such center in Tennessee.

The designation affirms that VUMC has been found to have the training, personnel, equipment and experience needed to manage patients requiring radiopharmaceutical therapy.

Radiopharmaceutical therapy is targeted delivery of radiation to cancer cells or to the tumor microenvironment using radiopharmaceuticals — agents that accumulate in a tumor because the radioactive element is involved in certain biological processes or is attached to a chemical that targets a tumor.

“We are grateful for the experience, expertise and enthusiasm shared by team members in helping our nuclear medicine therapy service to thrive and grow,” said Philip Scherer, MD, associate professor of Radiology, section chief of Nuclear Medicine and director of Nuclear Medicine and Positron Emission Tomography at VUMC.

“Receiving this designation is a collaborative team effort with nuclear medicine physicians, technologists, radiation safety officers, medical physicists, radiochemists, radiopharmacists and oncology physicians,” Scherer said.

Comprehensive Centers of Excellence are sites that are leading the field, according to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. These centers have experience administering multiple radiopharmaceutical therapies, established care teams in specific disease areas and active radiopharmaceutical research.

“Congratulations to the entire team on this distinction,” said Dan Brown, MD, professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, and interim chair of the Department of Radiology. “This designation shows the dedication of our faculty and staff in providing the best care possible for our patients.”

With 15,000 members worldwide, the society promotes the science, technology and practical applications of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. To date, more than 30 comprehensive radiopharmaceutical centers of excellence have been designated in the United States and Canada.

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