Founded in 1982, the Division of Nuclear Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center is one of the largest in the nation with extensive activities in patient care, research and teaching.
Our award-winning team of physicians, assistants, nurses, technicians, administrators, fellows, residents, research associates and chemists comprises the most extensive nuclear medicine group in the New York Metropolitan area, caring for more than 20,000 patients each year and employing the most advanced technology available in the field. Approximately one-third of our practice caters to cardiac issues, one-third for cancer of all types and one-third for other diseases such as: brain, Alzheimer's, kidney, infectious, and benign bone.
Although the two largest components of the Division are cardiac disease and cancer, our physicians span the gamut when it comes to areas of expertise. Some of their various specialties include: GI disease, breast cancer, kidney disease and cardiac disease.
Patients ranging from pediatric to adults come to us for a variety of concerns. These may be minor, such as bone scans for injuries or tests for urinary tract infections or of a serious nature such as cancer, coronary artery disease, or kidney disease. In order to alleviate any anxieties, patients undergo an examination prior to scans or tests, and at that time, a physician and/or nurse will explain the process and what to expect. Patients feel little or no discomfort, as tests consist of a simple injection, much the same as drawing blood.
Distinction and Leadership in Nuclear Medicine
The division's faculty has won countless awards and plays an active role in national and international nuclear medicine. Many have served as: members and chairman of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, president and officers of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, on study sections of the National Institutes of Health and other research organizations. They lecture on the use of nuclear medicine in patient diagnosis and therapy throughout the world and have contributed to more than 541 publications and written or edited more than 30 books pertaining to general and professional literature.
When it comes to embracing the latest technology, the Division of Nuclear Medicine is a recognized pioneer. We recently launched a major initiative with the use of PET/CT imaging in the differential diagnosis of cancer. PET/CT, which is a combination of nuclear medicine that measures the distribution of radioactive compound in the body, is one of the newest and most advanced nuclear medicine imaging techniques. Its keen accuracy promises to revolutionize the diagnosis of cancer.
Another technological advance we employ is the combined SPECT/CT scanner, which combines metabolic imaging with a clearer view of the anatomy for comprehensive assessments of cardiac function. This not only measures the function of the organ and localizes exactly where the disease is, but the speedier multi-slice hybrid also vastly improves imaging and clarity to eliminate false positive results that might be generated from thinking a soft attenuation due to breast tissue or fat is a perfusion defect. Therefore patients' diagnoses are more quantitatively accurate than using the solo SPECT scan.
A Commitment to Research
Members of the Division of Nuclear Medicine have contributed to the use of nuclear medicine for kidney disease, cancer and immunoimaging through various research activities. These encompass conducting studies pertaining to: radioactive antibodies, new diagnostic agents, molecular imaging, Biomolecular Nanotechnology, pharmacologic stress testing, and improving the experience of coronary revascularization for those who encounter recurrent symptoms with the PET/CT scanner.
Most impressive is Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova's concentration on radionuclide therapy of cancer and infectious diseases. Radionuclides are radioactive atoms that emit particles capable of destroying cells extremely efficiently. Even a simple molecule like glucose can become effective in killing cancer cells. Delivering these radionuclides to the cancerous cells is called radioimmunotherapy. She is currently conducting a Phase 1 trial in Israel, which has a high prevalence of melanoma, to explore treating fungal infections and certain types of cancers with radioimmunotherapy.
Dr. Mark Travin leads various clinical trials to best evaluate patients with heart disease. He seeks to answer what the most effective way to screen patients is, and how to connect them with the proper therapy. He's also currently conducting a clinical trial to assess how the PET/CT scanner can better distinguish and determine the cause of patients' recurrent signs and symptoms after revascularization versus the SPECT imaging. Due to its ability to diagnose more accurately, especially for complex cases, the PET/CT could improve the management of patients. This is the fundamental hypothesis of the study, which tracks and correlates data with patients' prognosis.
Another exciting development is Dr. Eugene Fine's exploration of the correlation of carbohydrate intake and cancer cell growth. Tumors are very dependent on glucose and are not able to survive on other forms of metabolism, so he seeks to answer whether or not curbing carbohydrate intake could improve patients' conditions. He is currently in the initial recruitment phase for a study on patients who have been treated for cancer, but still have a tumor and no further treatment options. If you are or know a potential candidate, kindly contact Dr. Fine at 718-904-2639.