The Role of Theranostics in Nuclear Medicine: Cancer Diagnosis and Management

Steven Marks*

*President, MedCom Consultants, Inc, Potomac MD

Address correspondence to: Steven Marks, MedCom Consultants Inc, 1311 Fallsmead Way, Potomac MD 20854. Email:

Disclosure statement: The author reports having no financial or advisory relationship with any corporate, medical, or political organization doing work related to this paper or other business activity at MedCom Consultants, Inc.

AKH Inc. planners and reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.



Precision therapy in cancer is critical to the delivery of safe and efficacious care. Radiotheranostics, a novel approach in nuclear medicine that combines imaging and therapeutics, has become an invaluable way to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neoplastic diseases. Theranostics provides a platform for identifying the biologic targets of the disease process and the patients who will benefit most from the use of radionuclide agents. This approach can predict response and risk of toxicity, and can monitor the course of therapy. Since the introduction of the first agent, radioiodine, in 1941, the number and types of radiotheranostic agents under investigation and in clinical use have burgeoned. Newer isotopes, which include radiolabeled somatostatin receptor analogs for neuroendocrine tumors, prostate-specific membrane antigen in prostate cancer, and chemokine receptors in multiple myeloma, have yielded promising results in clinical studies; further research is underway on these and other molecular targets, as well as on the use of high-energy alpha particles for the treatment of disseminated residual tumors. As new agents emerge, questions regarding regulatory approval and reimbursement will need to be addressed, so these important treatments can assume their proper place in the armamentarium of cancer diagnosis and management.

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