Radionuclide therapy

Janelle Wheat, Geoffrey Currie, Robert Davidson, Hosen Kiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article follows the article An Introduction to Nuclear Medicine published in this issue of The Radiographer. Nuclear medicine is the injection, ingestion or inhalation of a radiopharmaceutical for the purpose of diagnosis or therapy. While the previous article focussed on the fundamental principles of diagnostic imaging, this paper focuses on the role of nuclear medicine in the treatment of disease. Radionuclide therapy differs from other forms of ionising radiation therapies, such as external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, in that photons are not the prime means damaging the target volume. Rather beta and sometimes alpha particles are used to deliver the dose to the target. Delivery methods and biodistribution of the radionuclides are important considerations for optimising the dose to the target volume and for minimising the radiation burden to non-target tissues. One of the benefits associated with some radionuclides used in therapy is that imaging can occur at the concurrently if the radiopharmaceuticals emits both a particle and a photon. This article provides an overview of the mechanisms of dose delivery, types of radionuclides that are used in therapy, clinical applications, recent advances and the future of radionuclides therapies. An understanding of the technical and clinical aspects of radionuclide therapies can provide an improved understanding for medical radiation scientists and in doing so benefit the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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