Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – On September 1–2 the first ESOR Asklepios Course on Hybrid Imaging in Oncology took place in Vienna, Austria, organised by the European School of Radiology (ESOR) in cooperation with the European Society for Hybrid Medical Imaging (ESHI). Fully booked with 100 participants from 32 countries, the course confirmed the organisers’ idea that there is a strong demand for education and training that focuses on the combination of radiology and nuclear medicine.

Revitalising the great tradition of the world-famous Viennese Medical School of the 19th and early 20th century and transferring its visions of collaboration into the present, ESOR and ESHI invited twelve renowned experts in imaging and nuclear medicine from all over Europe to speak at the course. The lectures highlighted the role of hybrid imaging in areas ranging from non-small lung cancer and lymphoma to head and neck cancer, prostate and gynaecologic cancer.

Prof. Katrine Riklund from Umeå, Sweden, who is Chair of the ESR Board and ESHI President, was one of the hosts of the course. “I was myself trained in medical imaging and nuclear medicine; therefore it has always been one of my professional priorities to pass on knowledge in both disciplines and particularly to support education in hybrid imaging. Especially in oncology, hybrid imaging is of the utmost importance to the benefit of our patients,” Riklund emphasised.

The course’s other co-host was Prof. Christian Herold from Vienna, Austria, former ESR and ECR President, and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image Guided Therapy at the Medical University of Vienna. He pointed out that this department works with both radiology and nuclear medicine. “In our daily work we witness the significance of radiology and nuclear medicine working together, and hybrid imaging with PET/CT, PET/MRI and also SPECT/CT is the best example of information from these disciplines complementing each other,” stated Herold.

The location of the course underlined the meaning of the word ‘hybrid’ in its own special way: the Albert Hall is a ballroom in a neo-classic Palais in the centre of Vienna, formerly owned by Empress Maria Theresia’s favourite book printer and Austria-Hungary’s first large-scale publisher and book dealer. The ballroom was subtly renovated and modernised in recent years and now offers everything today’s conference attendees expect from a first-class venue.

The attendees who came from all over Europe, as well as from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, were impressed by the atmosphere of the beautiful setting, but above all by the top scientific level of the lectures and the interactivity these sessions encouraged.

This enormous success of the ESOR/ESHI Course has inspired the organisers to continue with more courses on the hot topic of hybrid imaging; two to three live courses will be offered per year, starting in 2017, supplemented by online courses in between. The European Society of Radiology (ESR), as mother society of both the ESOR and the ESHI, is looking forward to inviting radiologists and nuclear physicians from around the world to take part in future programmes on hybrid imaging.

The next ESOR course on Hybrid Imaging will take place at the ESR Learning Centre in Vienna on October 29, 2016.

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