The World Molecular Imaging Society Acquires the American Society of Image Guided Surgery (ASIGS)

CULVER CITY, Calif., June 27, 2016 – The World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) announced today that they have completed an agreement to acquire the American Society of Image Guided Surgery (ASIGS). The ASIGS will operate in a joint association with the Optical Surgical Navigation interest group (OSN-IG) and maintain the ASIGS identity within the interest group.

“The merger of the two groups, ASIGS and OSN, completes the final stage of the evolution of OSN,” said James Basilion, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, Co-Chair OSN/ASIGS-IG. “This merger and the combined expertise of the membership will support the movement of MI agents and tools to proceed from molecules to mice to man.”

The current president of ASIGS, Eben Rosenthal, M.D., Stanford University, will maintain a leadership and chair position in the OSN-IG with a dedicated focus on ASIGS. ASIGS is comprised primarily of surgeons dedicated to the clinical translations of novel agents, while OSN has focused primarily on basic science and developing novel molecular imaging agents and new hardware. ASIGS was co-founded by Eben Rosenthal, Go van Dam and Kurt Zinn several years ago in order to bring oncologic surgeons together to discuss advances in this area.

“The OSN/ASIGS merger will bring novel agents closer to the clinic and enable surgeons, engineers and scientists to work together in this very fast moving field to help patients and improve outcomes in surgery,” said Eben Rosenthal, M.D., Stanford University, Co-Chair OSN/ASIGS-IG.

Optical imaging can be a very powerful intraoperative tool to mark and visualize tissues, cells, and biochemical events in real time while guiding the surgeon in radical resection to achieve optimal clinical results. Applications in human medicine have demonstrated the power of fluorescence imaging to enhance visualization during surgery. This is achieved with the utilization of laser light, CCD cameras, light emitting chemical agents, and ultraminiaturized microscopes. It is the goal of the WMIS to provide and support optical molecular imaging education, innovation, standardization, and translation to clinical use.

In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of optical imaging clinical trials with approximately 150 clinical trials currently listed on A study reported in Lancet Oncology by Walter Stummer et. al, found that tumour fluorescence enables more complete resections of contrast-enhancing tumour, leading to improved progression-free survival in patients with malignant glioma.

“ASIGS brings a focus on clinical development,” said Michael Tweedle, Ph.D., The Ohio State University Medical School, Co-Chair OSN/ASIGS-IG. “OSN was primarily basic and preclinical. The combination bolsters the effort from basic to translational clinical and fully fulfills the WMIS mission.”

There are two programs planned for the OSN/ASIGS-IG in 2016. There will be a full day
workshop on optical surgical navigation at the 2016 World Molecular Imaging Congress in New York City on Wednesday, September 7th from 9 am – 3:30 pm. The 2016 Imaging in 2020 meeting is themed “The Future of Precision Medicine: Molecular Imaging for Diagnosis & Surgery/Therapy” and will be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on September 18th – 22nd. The sessions at this meeting will feature presentations from world-renowned researchers in molecular imaging and image guided surgery.

For more information on the OSN/ASIGS-IG partnership, please contact Lauren Whitman at or visit

The WMIS is dedicated to developing and promoting translational research through multimodality molecular imaging. The education and abstract-driven WMIC is the annual meeting of the WMIS and is held in conjunction with partner societies including the European Society for Molecular Imaging (ESMI) and the Federation of Asian Societies for Molecular Imaging (FASMI). WMIC provides a unique setting for scientists and clinicians with very diverse backgrounds to interact, present, and follow cutting-edge advances in the rapidly expanding field of molecular imaging that impacts nearly every biomedical discipline. Industry exhibits at the congress included corporations who have created the latest advances in preclinical and clinical imaging approaches and equipment, providing a complete molecular imaging educational technology showcase. For more information:


Fluorescence-guided surgery with 5-aminolevulinic acid for resection of malignant glioma: a randomised controlled multicentre phase III trial
Stummer, Walter et al.
The Lancet Oncology, Volume 7, Issue 5, 392 – 401