Radionuclide therapy involves the use of a radiopharmaceutical - a drug that
has a radioactive ingredient - for the diagnosis or treatment of disease.
In radiation oncology, commonly used radionuclide therapies include the
- QuadrametTM (Samarium-153)
and MetastronTM (Strontium/Yttrium-90)
for palliation of metastatic cancer to the bone. These agents, given as an outpatient
injection, contain a radioisotope that is designed to target where the metastatic cells
are attacking bones and avoid the normal areas of bone. These medicines are effective
in relieving bony pain throughout the body, and they are particularly useful in treating
cancers of the prostate, lung, and breast.
- Radioactive Iodine (I-131) for the treatment of Thyroid Cancer
and Hyperthyroidism/Graves' Disease.
- ZevalinTM for the treatment of recurrent or
refractory (unresponsive to conventional chemotherapy) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. ZevalinTM,
recently approved by the FDA, is the first of a new class of medicines known as
radioimmunotherapy agents. Radioimmunotherapy is a promising new area of cancer
treatment that combines the targeting power of monoclonal antibodies with the
cell-killing ability of localized radiation.