Radionuclide therapies utilize radiopharmaceutical drugs that target specific types of tumors. Releasing energy, these drugs can bring radiation to tumors in targeted doses and therefore sparing normal and healthy tissues.

Radiopharmaceutical consists of a radioisotope ion bonded to an organic molecule, which in turn conveys the radioisotope to the targeted organ, tissue, or cell.  The choice of the radioisotope depends on the affinity or the binding power to the target structures of the tumor-like antigens and receptors. The radiation from the radioactive nuclide damages the DNA of the cancer cells, killing them in the process and shrinking the tumors. Radiopharmaceuticals not only effectively eliminate malignant tumor cells but also spare healthy tissues and organs.

How It Works

The ionizing radiation emitted by the radionuclide determines the biological activity of the radiopharmaceutical.  In radionuclide therapy, a different type of radionuclide is needed and far from those that emit gamma radiation that can penetrate the body. As such, radionuclides appropriate for tumor therapy are those with alpha or beta emitters as these can penetrate radiation into nearby tissues.

Radionuclide Therapies
  • Xofigo
    • Xofigo is a radioactive agent used for the treatment of prostate cancer with metastatic bone disease. It is administered intravenously as a slow injection over a minute. Injections are performed monthly over the course of 6 months.
  • Quadramet
    • Quadramet is an injectable radiopharmaceutical for treating bone pain associated with various cancer types. Given as a single injection. It can be repeated if MD determines it can benefit patient relief.
  • Zevalin
    • Zevalin is a treatment for Follicular Lymphoma that combines two effective therapies in a single course of treatment: Immunotherapy and Radiotherapy. The entire treatment regimen can be completed in 7–9 days. It is administered intravenously.

Note:  We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational but is not a substitute for medical advice.


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