Physics Department Colloquium - “Theranostic isotopes – using radiation to image and treat disease” - Dr. Sophia Pells – UMASS Chan Medical School
Nuclear medicine relies on administration of a radioactive drug to a patient, either through injection, inhalation, or swallowing. Depending on the radioactive isotope used in the drug, we can then detect radiation emitted from the patient to observe functional processes in the body for diagnostic imaging, or the radiation can be used to target and destroy diseased tissue in the body for therapy.
Theranostic (therapeutic + diagnostic) isotopes, or families of isotopes, allow us to combine the two and see exactly what we are treating. This can pave the way for personalized therapies for diseases such as cancer, where radiation doses can be tailored to each specific patient.