Hong Song received his MD from Tulane University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University. He performed research in targeted radionuclide therapy as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University. Following medical school, he joined Dual pathway Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology residency at Stanford. His current research interests include PSMA PET in biochemically recurrent prostate cancer and DOTATATE PET in PRRT for neuroendocrine tumors.

Clinical Focus

  • Diagnostic Radiology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Medicine (2022)
  • Residency: Stanford University Radiology Residency (2022) CA
  • Internship: Tulane University Internal Medicine Residency (2017) LA
  • Medical Education: Tulane University School of Medicine Registrar (2016) LA

All Publications

  • PSMA theragnostics for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer. Translational oncology Song, H., Guja, K. E., Iagaru, A. 2022; 22: 101438


    There has been tremendous growth in the development of theragnostics for personalized cancer diagnosis and treatment over the past two decades. In prostate cancer, the new generation of prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) small molecular inhibitor-based imaging agents achieve extraordinary tumor to background ratios and allow their therapeutic counterparts to deliver effective tumor doses while minimizing normal tissue toxicity. The PSMA targeted small molecule positron emission tomography (PET) agents 18F-DCFPyL (2-(3-{1-carboxy-5-((6-(18)F-fluoro-pyridine-3-carbonyl)-amino)-pentyl}-ureido)-pentanedioic acid) and Gallium-68 (68Ga)-PSMA-11 have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for newly diagnosed high risk prostate cancer patients and for patients with biochemical recurrence. More recently, the Phase III VISION trial showed that Lutetium-177 (177Lu)-PSMA-617 treatment increases progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with heavily pre-treated advanced PSMA-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Here, we review the PSMA targeted theragnostic pairs under clinical investigation for detection and treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tranon.2022.101438

    View details for PubMedID 35659674

  • 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI in patients with newly diagnosed intermediate or high-risk prostate adenocarcinoma: PET findings correlate with outcomes after definitive treatment. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Moradi, F., Duan, H., Song, H., Davidzon, G. A., Chung, B. I., Thong, A. E., Loening, A. M., Ghanouni, P., Sonn, G., Iagaru, A. 2022


    Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET offers superior accuracy to other imaging modalities in initial staging of prostate cancer and is more likely to affect management. We examined the prognostic value of 68Ga-PSMA-11 uptake in primary lesion and presence of metastatic disease on PET in newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients prior to initial therapy. Methods: In a prospective study from April 2016 to December 2020, 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI was done in men with new diagnosis of intermediate or high-grade prostate cancer who were candidates for prostatectomy. Patients were followed up after initial therapy for up to 5 years. We examined the Kendall correlation between PET (intense uptake in primary lesion and presence of metastatic disease) and clinical and pathologic findings (grade group, extraprostatic extension, nodal involvement) relevant for risk stratification, and examined the relationship between PET findings and outcome using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Seventy-three men, 64.0±6.3 years of age were imaged. Seventy-two had focal uptake in prostate and in 20 (27%), PSMA-avid metastatic disease was identified. Uptake correlated with grade group and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Presence of PSMA metastasis correlated with grade group and pathologic nodal stage. PSMA PET had higher per-patients positivity than nodal dissection in patients with only 5-15 nodes removed (8/41 vs. 3/41) but lower positivity if more than 15 nodes were removed (13/21 vs. 10/21). High uptake in primary (SUVmax>12.5, P = .008) and presence of PSMA metastasis (P = .013) were associated with biochemical failure, and corresponding hazard ratios for recurrence within 2-years (4.93 and 3.95, respectively) were similar or higher than other clinicopathologic prognostic factors. Conclusions: 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET can risk stratify patients with intermediate or high-grade prostate cancer prior to prostatectomy based on degree of uptake in prostate and presence of metastatic disease.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.122.263897

    View details for PubMedID 35512996

  • 18F DCFPyL PET Acquisition, Interpretation and Reporting: Suggestions Post Food and Drug Administration Approval. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Song, H., Iagaru, A., Rowe, S. P. 2021


    18F-DCFPyL was recently approved by the FDA for evaluation prior to definitive therapy and for biochemical recurrence. Here we focus on the key data that justify the clinical use of 18F-DCFPyL, as well as those aspects of protocol implementation and image interpretation that are important to the nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists who will interpret 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT and PET/MR scans.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.121.262989

    View details for PubMedID 34531266

  • PSMA- and GRPR-targeted PET: Results from 50 Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Baratto, L., Song, H., Duan, H., Hatami, N., Bagshaw, H., Buyyounouski, M., Hancock, S., Shah, S. A., Srinivas, S., Swift, P., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G. A., Iagaru, A. 2021


    Rationale: Novel radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) are evaluated for the diagnosis of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer (BCR PC). Here, we compare the gastrin releasing peptide receptors (GRPR) - targeting 68Ga-RM2 with the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) - targeting 68Ga-PSMA11 and 18F-DCFPyL. Methods: Fifty patients had both 68Ga-RM2 PET/MRI and 68Ga-PSMA11 PET/CT (n = 23) or 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT (n = 27) at an interval ranging from 1 to 60 days (mean±SD: 15.8±17.7). Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were collected for all lesions. Results: RM2 PET was positive in 35 and negative in 15 of the 50 patients. PSMA PET was positive in 37 and negative in 13 of the 50 patients. Both scans detected 70 lesions in 32 patients. Forty-three lesions in 18 patients were identified only on one scan: 68Ga-RM2 detected 7 more lesions in 4 patients, while PSMA detected 36 more lesions in 13 patients. Conclusion: 68Ga-RM2 remains a valuable radiopharmaceutical even when compared with the more widely used 68Ga-PSMA11/18F-DCFPyL in the evaluation of BCR PC. Larger studies are needed to verify that identifying patients for whom these two classes of radiopharmaceuticals are complementary may ultimately allow for personalized medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.120.259630

    View details for PubMedID 33674398

  • 18F-FDG PET/CT for Evaluation of Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLD). Seminars in nuclear medicine Song, H., Guja, K. E., Iagaru, A. 2021


    Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) are a spectrum of heterogeneous lymphoproliferative conditions that are serious and possibly fatal complications after solid organ or allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Most PTLD are attributed to Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in B-cells in the setting of immunosuppression after transplantation. Early diagnosis, accurate staging, and timely treatment are of vital importance to reduce morbidity and mortality. Given the often nonspecific clinical presentation and disease heterogeneity of PTLD, tissue biopsy and histopathological analysis are essential to establish diagnosis and most importantly, determine the subtype of PTLD, which guides treatment options. Advanced imaging modalities such as 18F-FDG PET/CT have played an increasingly important role and have shown high sensitivity and specificity in detection, staging, and assessing treatment response in multiple clinical studies over the last two decades. However, larger multicenter prospective validation is still needed to further establish the clinical utility of PET imaging in the management of PTLD. Significantly, new hybrid imaging modalities such as PET/MR may help reduce radiation exposure, which is especially important in pediatric transplant patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2020.12.009

    View details for PubMedID 33455722

  • Diagnostic 123I Whole Body Scan Prior to Ablation of Thyroid Remnant in Patients With Papillary Thyroid Cancer: Implications for Clinical Management CLINICAL NUCLEAR MEDICINE Song, H., Mosci, C., Akatsu, H., Basina, M., Dosiou, C., Iagaru, A. 2018; 43 (10): 705–9


    The use of I whole body scintigraphy (WBS) before I radioiodine ablation (RIA) of the post-surgical thyroid remnant in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) remains debated. The American Thyroid Association's guidelines state that WBS may be useful before RIA (rating C-expert opinion). Some institutions do not use I WBS before RIA in their routine clinical protocol. We were therefore prompted to evaluate the impact of I WBS prior to ablation of thyroid remnant in patients with PTC.We reviewed data from 152 consecutive patients with PTC who had total thyroidectomy and were referred for RIA between August 2007 and February 2009 at our institution. The group included 107 women and 45 men, 13-82 years old (mean ± SD: 45.5 ± 18.3). Three endocrinologists blinded to the results of the I WBS reviewed patients' data including sex, age, pathology, thyroglobulin (Tg) level, anti-Tg antibodies, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level and ultrasound results. Each endocrinologist then returned a form with the recommended I dose for each participant, according to the following rules: 50-75 mCi (remnant ablation), 75-125 mCi (lymph nodes metastases), 150 mCi (lung metastases), and 200 mCi (bone metastases). We compared their recommended doses with the actual I doses prescribed after the pre-therapy I WBS.All three endocrinologists recommended the same dose in 98.7% of the cases. The dose prescribed by the endocrinologists matched the dose administered after analyzing the I WBS in 77 patients (51%). However, for 46 patients (30%) the endocrinologists would have given a lower dose, for 18 patients (12%) a higher dose than that administered based on the results of the I WBS, while 11 patients (7%) would have been treated unnecessarily (5/11 had no I uptake and 6/11 had I uptake in the breasts).Our study suggests a significant role of the pre-therapy I WBS in PTC patients referred for I ablation post-thyroidectomy. The actual I dose that was administered based on the I WBS differed from the dose recommended in the absence of the I WBS in 49% of the cases.

    View details for PubMedID 30153149