Recent advances in theranostics and challenges for the future

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Theranostic nuclear oncology is on the cusp of adoption into routine clinical management of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) following publication of the Phase 3 randomised controlled trial, NETTER-1. For the first time, level 1b evidence of efficacy and safety of 68-gallium/177-lutetium-DOTA-octreotate peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, of mid-gut neuroendocrine tumours was established. Multicentre Phase 2 studies of 68-gallium/177-lutetium-prostate specific membrane antigen theranostic approaches to management of end-stage metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer, are also very encouraging. However, the retrospective uncontrolled data currently available are inadmissible for formal regulatory agency evaluation. The challenge is to engage with oncologists and urologists, and to collaborate with the pharmaceutical industry, to design and perform the controlled clinical trials required for regulatory approval, and eventual reimbursement for theranostic nuclear oncology procedures. Strategies to facilitate timely establishment of an evidence base are considered in this review of theranostic advances over the past year. The prime objective is the provision of novel, effective, safe, personalised, tumour-targeted molecular theranostic management of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer, and other cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which express the appropriate molecular receptor tumour targets. It would also be desirable to offer theranostic treatments at an earlier stage of malignant disease when the benefit is likely to be greater. The ultimate goal of theranostic nuclear oncology is to prolong survival and to improve quality of life for cancer patients worldwide. This may only be achieved through close collaboration between oncologists, nuclear physicians, radiologists, dosimetric physicists, Pharma, and, above all, with the patients themselves, in ways which are explored in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170893
Number of pages1
JournalThe British journal of radiology
Issue number1091
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


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