Types of Treatments: Radiopharmaceutical Therapies (RPT)
Radiopharmaceutical therapies (RPTs) are systemic treatments that target cancer cells with a radioactive drug. Other terms for RPT include radioligand therapy, molecular radiotherapy, or theranostics.
RPT can be used to treat cancers that have spread (metastasized) or recurred after other treatments. They are often paired with a type of imaging scan that shows whether the target is present on the tumors (such as PSMA PET). Several types of RPT are described below:
- Radio Embolization
This cancer treatment uses tiny glass or resin beads called microspheres to deliver radiation to a tumor through the bloodstream. These particles are placed inside blood vessels, where they travel to the tumor and deliver a high dose of radiation.
One type of radio embolization used at Johns Hopkins is TheraSphere(Y90 microspheres), a treatment for liver tumors. Doctors infuse millions of particles into the arteries that feed liver tumors. Then, the particles lodge themselves in the tumors, emitting radiation.
- Radium-223 for bone metastases
This treatment uses intravenous injection of Radium-223 (Xofigo) that is similar to calcium and targets areas of bone turnover in bone metastases. It is FDA approved for symptomatic bone metastases from prostate cancer, and it is given once a month for up to 6 months. It is also under investigation in other settings.
- [177Lu] Lu-PSMA for mCRPC
Lu-PSMA-617 (Pluvicto) is an intravenous infusion that targets a molecule on the surface of prostate cancer cells called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). It is FDA approved for castrate resistant metastatic prostate cancer, and it is given once every 6 weeks for up to 9 months. It is also under investigation in other settings.
- Other investigational therapies and combination therapies
There are many clinical trials investigating radiopharmaceutical therapies at Johns Hopkins University. These trials include treatment of multiple types of cancer and different cancer targets.
GSS and JHH
RadOnc Pluvicto (410) 502-8000
Sibley Memorial Hospital (SMH)
Department of Radiation Oncology (202) 537-4788
Main Switchboard (202)537-4000
Providers for Theraspheres (90Y-microspheres):
Locations for Pluvicto:
Locations for Xofigo:
Locations for Theraspheres: