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Personalized radiology will be next, says ESR president

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | March 08, 2013
Gabriel Krestin,
ESR president.
Gabriel Krestin, president of the European Society of Radiology (ESR), spoke broadly about the direction medicine will be going in the coming years during the opening press conference on March 7 of the European Conference of Radiology (ECR) taking place in Vienna, Austria. Like all areas of medicine, radiology will need to be aware of the paradigm shift toward personalized medicine, which tailors the treatment to the individual, he said.

"The whole idea of PM [personalized medicine], and the role of imaging within it, is relevant to all of us," said Krestin. "This concept will have an increasing influence on the way we work as radiologists."

Krestin urged radiologists to understand how this new idea will influence their work in the near future, and to make sure that imaging is recognized for what it is able to bring to personalized treatments.

Imaging can play a role in the discovery and detection of biomarkers, for example, which can identify and even quantify disease often before symptoms occur. In an era of personalized medicine, imaging can also provide additional information about patients that other methods cannot, such as pinpointing the precise location and extent of disease, the possible involvement of adjacent structures and characteristics such as perfusion, flow, metabolism and diffusion within the diseased tissues. Such information can be used to precisely choose, direct, and monitor treatment and disease, according to written material from ESR.

Krestin said that personalized medicine will allow for the stratification of patients into different disease risk groups and therefore individual decisions could be made about disease prevention and treatment.

ESR recently formed a partnership with the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine and the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine, to raise awareness on the topic.

More in-depth discussions on personalized medicine and imaging will take place during ECR, which runs through March 11.

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