At the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), Wang Xuezhu, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at PUMCH, won the first prize in the Cardiovascular Council Young Investigator Awards (YIA) as the first domestically trained nuclear medicine doctor in China to receive this award for her research on clinical needs and relevant data in China; she is the only clinical investigator among the three first-prize winners, the other two being basic researchers from Germany.
Wang Xuezhu’s mentor is Professor Huo Li, Director of the Department of Nuclear Medicine. To achieve the goal of clinically non-invasive diagnosis of transthyretin protein-related cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR-CA), the project team led by Huo Li has since December 2018 carried out research related to the diagnosis of myocardial amyloidosis by nuclear imaging. Under the guidance of PUMCH President Zhang Shuyang and with the help of Professor Tian Zhuang from the Department of Cardiology, the team was the first in China to successfully complete the clinical translation research on 99Tcm-PYP SPECT(/CT) imaging and then quickly translated it into a regular tool for clinical diagnosis and treatment. In August 2019, the Department of Nuclear Medicine and the Department of Cardiology of PUMCH discovered the first wild-type ATTR-CA patient in China, pioneered the establishment of diagnostic criteria for ATTR-CA in China, and built a dynamic monitoring platform for populations at a high risk of cardiac amyloidosis. Through standardized collection of multicenter data in China, they further analyzed the incidence of ATTR-CA in China and established a standard diagnosis and treatment protocol for China.
To establish a sound nuclear medicine research system for cardiac amyloidosis, since May 2020 the Department of Nuclear Medicine, with the help of Li Jian, Deputy Director of the Department of Hematology, and Wang Yining, Deputy Director of the Department of Radiology, has conducted research on the clinical application of 11C-PiB PET/CT in the early diagnosis, risk stratification, and efficacy assessment of light-chain cardiac amyloidosis (AL-CA) and subjected it to mutual corroboration with MRI. Thus, it has gradually formed a clinical research system for multimodal molecular probes from SPECT to PET, initially established a non-invasive nuclear medicine method for diagnosing both ATTR-CA and AL-CA that is clinically urgently needed. It has started to further explore the role of nuclear medicine imaging in AL-CA treatment decision-making and prognosis assessment.
Wang Xuezhu’s award-winning paper is part of the above-mentioned research work. The research finds that the clinical application of 11C-PiB PET/CT imaging can play a useful role in the risk stratification and efficacy assessment of AL-CA patients. The award granted to Wang Xuezhu is an indicator that the cardiac amyloidosis research of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, PUMCH is now internationally leading.
Written by: Li Congxin from the Department of Nuclear Medicine
Translator: Liu Haiyan
Editor: Pan Qingqing and Wang Yao