patient, staff, and family radiation exposures to offset the trend set by the increasing number of diagnostic procedures is to be expected.

2.4
CONCLUSION

We have arrived at a crossroads in nuclear medicine. Further development of the field will likely contribute substantially to the development of personalized medicine by (1) providing more efficient and lower cost strategies to bring new drugs to market; (2) developing new and more effective treatments for cancer and cardiovascular disease; (3) improving understanding of abnormal physiological conditions; and (4) developing new, effective anticancer drugs. Moreover, new developments in accelerator engineering, computer science, materials science, chemistry, and nanotechnology suggest that a new generation of nuclear medicine instruments and radiopharmaceuticals can now be made that will be less expensive, more widely available, and more precise. Although there are challenges ahead, by investing in the infrastructure of radionuclide production; committing to train and nurture the next generation of nuclear medicine researchers, technicians, and clinicians; and developing a program that will sustain nuclear medicine research, we will all reap the benefits of better health care.



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