An Effective Method for Treating Cancer
Radioisotope therapy (RIT) is a form of targeted therapy. Its targeting can be due to the chemical properties of the isotope such as radioiodine, which is mainly adsorbed by the thyroid gland. As isotope changes to a more stable state by emitting radiation, so radioisotopes can be used in imaging tests in diagnosing cancer. Since 1941, radioiodine has been used to treat thyrotoxicosis and reported as an effective painkilling treatment of cancer. It is one of the oldest interventions in nuclear medicine.
The radioisotopes are delivered through infusion into the bloodstream or ingestion such as infusion of metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIGB) to diagnose neuroblastoma. There is oral iodine-131 to treat thyroid cancer or thyrotoxicosis, and hormone-bound lutetium-177 and yttrium-90 to treat neuroendocrine tumors. It also can be performed through injection of radioactive glass or resin microspheres into the hepatic artery to radioembolize liver tumor or liver metastases.
The radioisotope therapy is mainly used in the treatment of bone metastasis from cancer. Typically, RIT is given a single intervention and now it has shown the fractionation of low-dose-rate in terms of both palliating symptoms and stabilizing metastatic disease. This therapy is also administered as a monotherapy. Cancer treatment is administered as combination therapy, and now data are indicating that additional interventions with radiotherapy or chemotherapy can enhance the effectiveness of RIT method.
New data are pointing to the maturation of RIT as an oncologic intervention. And the Therapy Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine has discussed to establish a framework by which clinical trail methodology can be developed, and by which criteria for assessment of outcome of RIT has become more encouraging.