Practical radiation protection in theragnostics

Author(s): Dr Chris Mayes

Hospital: Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 575, 21-22


In 1942 Dr Saul Hertz used 131I radioiodine (RAI) to treat thyroid disease. Although theragnostics (also known as theranostics) was a term not invented at that time, Dr Hertz was using g-rays from RAI as a tracer and diagnostic biomarker, and its b particles for therapy, so he can be regarded as a pioneer.

131I is still a mainstay for the management of thyroid disease and it is now joined by many other therapeutic radionuclides that may emit α or more commonly b particles. The 2013 European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) technologist guide Radionuclide Metabolic Therapy is a free download introduction to the clinical use of these therapies. The EANM has also just issued its 2022 guide Radionuclide Therapy Management, which is more focused on radiation dosimetry. This review provides practical advice and reassurance to healthcare professionals on how theragnostics can be performed safely.

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