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Personalized Cancer Diagnostics and Therapies man speaking with doctor

Johns Hopkins is a leader in the development and use of theranostics.  The Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging has pioneered the development of imaging and theranostic agents for prostate cancer. 

Our Center was the first in the State of Maryland to offer 117Lu-DOTATATE, with several hundred infusions performed to date.  As this field is rapidly evolving, new agents will become available.  The Center will adopt them on an ongoing basis for safe, effective management of a variety of cancers. 


What is Theranostics?

Theranostics, a burgeoning new field arising from nuclear medicine, is the combination of imaging and molecular radiotherapy. Imaging, generally positron emission tomography (PET), is used to identify the tumor. The therapy in this case is a radiopharmaceutical – a radioactive drug that, like the PET agent that identified it, specifically targets cancer while leaving most normal, non-target tissues alone. Unlike external beam radiotherapy, molecular radiotherapy carries the radioactivity, in the form of particles that are emitted from the radiopharmaceutical, directly to the tumor.

The Center operates in close coordination with our partners in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our most active service at present implements 177Lu-DOTATATE, for patients with neuroendocrine tumors. A 68Ga-DOTATATE PET scan is used to identify tumors that will concentrate the corresponding therapeutic (177Lu-DOTATATE). Having such tumors is one of the criteria to be a candidate for this therapy. We have found this therapy to be safe and well tolerated, with patients frequently relating an improved quality of life.


Meet Your Treatment Team

“Perhaps most gratifying about the radiotheranostics service is how over the course of therapy we often see a vast improvement in the quality of life of our patients.”

- Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D.

 Meet Our Experts

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