The advent of the use of radioactive iodine is a great story. Several notable speakers will tell that story as well as provide a look at advances that have enhanced the use of radioactive iodine and the current diagnostic and therapeutic uses in today’s in-depth symposium “A Tribute to Saul Hertz: 75th Anniversary of the Use of Radioactive Iodine” at 2:15 pm in Suwannee 15.
“I would really challenge anybody to come up with anything that has remained a mainstay therapy without substantial modification for so long,” said session co-chair Jeffrey Garber, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief of Endocrinology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Garber’s co-chair Lewis E. Braverman, MD, MACE, Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology at Boston University School of Medicine, will open the session with a brief history of 131 iodine therapy, going back to the beginning with correspondence in the 1930s between the Dr. Hertz and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Karl T. Compton, PhD, about the possibility of using radioactive iodine to treat thyroid disease.
“It’s an amazing story historically, socially and scientifically. Watching how it evolved over decades is really important,” said Dr. Garber.
Following the historical aspect of radioactive iodine will be a look at the sodium/iodine symporter by Nancy Carrasco, MD, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale School of Medicine.
“Dr. Carrasco will talk about the importance of the protein that transfers iodine from the blood into the thyroid,” said Dr. Braverman. “She was the first to clone and identify the transporter in 1996.”
Douglas Van Nostrand, MD, FACP, FACNM, Director, Nuclear Medicine Research and Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, will then highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radioactive iodine. The session will wrap up with a look at targeted approaches for enhancing radioactive iodine affinity in thyroid cancer by Alan Ho, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Braverman hopes that attendees will benefit not only from the history lesson, but also the look at the current science that is enhancing the use of radioactive iodine.
“Attendees will get up to date about how the iodine is trapped in the thyroid and other tissues and how radioactive iodine can be beneficial in the current environment to treat patients with Graves’ disease, hyperthyroid disease and thyroid cancer,” he said.
Dr. Garber noted, however, that the benefits of the session are not limited to the operational aspects.
“At least one of the benefits is the historical context,” he said. “No matter what your age is and how long you’ve practiced, sometimes understanding the history of medicine helps enormously.”