Clinical Pharmacology of Radiotheranostics in Oncology.

Te Beek ET, Burggraaf J, Teunissen JJM, Vriens D

The combined use of diagnostic and therapeutic radioligands with the same molecular target, also known as theranostics, enables accurate patient selection, targeted therapy, and prediction of treatment response. Radioiodine, bone-seeking radioligands and norepinephrine analogs have been used for many years for diagnostic imaging and radioligand therapy of thyroid carcinoma, bone metastases, pheochromocytoma, paraganglioma, and neuroblastoma, respectively. In recent years, radiolabeled somatostatin analogs and prostate-specific membrane antigen ligands have shown clinical efficacy in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors and prostate cancer, respectively. Several candidate compounds are targeting novel theranostic targets such as fibroblast activation protein, C-X-C chemokine receptor 4, and gastrin-releasing peptide receptor. In addition, several strategies to improve efficacy of radioligand therapy are being evaluated, including dosimetry-based dose optimization, multireceptor targeting, upregulation of target receptors, radiosensitization, pharmacogenomics, and radiation genomics. Design and evaluation of novel radioligands and optimization of dose and dose schedules, within the complex context of individualized multimodal cancer treatment, requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes clinical pharmacology. Significant increases in the use of these radiopharmaceuticals in routine oncological practice can be expected, which will have major impact on patient care as well as (radio)pharmacy utilization.