Theranostics in Nuclear Medicine: Emerging and Re-emerging Integrated Imaging and Therapies in the Era of Precision Oncology
Radiographics . 2020 Oct;40(6):1715-1740. doi: 10.1148/rg.2020200021.
José Flávio Gomes Marin, Rafael F Nunes, Artur M Coutinho, Elaine C Zaniboni, Larissa B Costa, Felipe G Barbosa, Marcelo A Queiroz, Giovanni G Cerri, Carlos A Buchpiguel
Theranostics refers to the pairing of diagnostic biomarkers with therapeutic agents that share a specific target in diseased cells or tissues. Nuclear medicine, particularly with regard to applications in oncology, is currently one of the greatest components of the theranostic concept in clinical and research scenarios. Theranostics in nuclear medicine, or nuclear theranostics, refers to the use of radioactive compounds to image biologic phenomena by means of expression of specific disease targets such as cell surface receptors or membrane transporters, and then to use specifically designed agents to deliver ionizing radiation to the tissues that express these targets. The nuclear theranostic approach has sparked increasing interest and gained importance in parallel to the growth in molecular imaging and personalized medicine, helping to provide customized management for various diseases; improving patient selection, prediction of response and toxicity, and determination of prognosis; and avoiding futile and costly diagnostic examinations and treatment of many diseases. The authors provide an overview of theranostic approaches in nuclear medicine, starting with a review of the main concepts and unique features of nuclear theranostics and aided by a retrospective discussion of the progress of theranostic agents since early applications, with illustrative cases emphasizing the imaging features. Advanced concepts regarding the role of fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET in theranostics, as well as developments in and future directions of theranostics, are discussed.
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