Targeted therapy in nuclear medicine--current status and future prospects

W. Oyen, L. Bodei, F. Giammarile, H. Maecke, J. Tennvall, M. Luster and B. Brans

Therapy Committee of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine, Hollandstrasse 14 / Mezzanine, A-1020 Vienna, Austria.
Nov, 2007



In recent years, a number of new developments in targeted therapies using radiolabeled compounds have emerged. New developments and insights in radioiodine treatment of thyroid cancer, treatment of lymphoma and solid tumors with radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), the developments in the application of radiolabeled small receptor-specific molecules such as meta-iodobenzylguanidine and peptides and the position of locoregional treatment in malignant involvement of the liver are reviewed. The introduction of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone and the possibility to enhance iodine uptake with retinoids has changed the radioiodine treatment protocol of patients with thyroid cancer. Introduction of radiolabeled mAbs has provided additional treatment options in patients with malignant lymphoma, while a similar approach proves to be cumbersome in patients with solid tumors. With radiolabeled small molecules that target specific receptors on tumor cells, high radiation doses can be directed to tumors in patients with disseminated disease. Radiolabeled somatostatin derivatives for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors are the role model for this approach. Locoregional treatment with radiopharmaceuticals of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma or metastases to the liver may be used in inoperable cases, but may also be of benefit in a neo-adjuvant or adjuvant setting. Significant developments in the application of targeted radionuclide therapy have taken place. New treatment modalities have been introduced in the clinic. The concept of combining therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals with other treatment modalities is more extensively explored.