Radiopharmaceutical therapy in cancer: clinical advances and challenges

George Sgouros, Lisa Bodei, Michael R. McDevitt, Jessie R. Nedrow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) is emerging as a safe and effective targeted approach to treating many types of cancer. In RPT, radiation is systemically or locally delivered using pharmaceuticals that either bind preferentially to cancer cells or accumulate by physiological mechanisms. Almost all radionuclides used in RPT emit photons that can be imaged, enabling non-invasive visualization of the biodistribution of the therapeutic agent. Compared with almost all other systemic cancer treatment options, RPT has shown efficacy with minimal toxicity. With the recent FDA approval of several RPT agents, the remarkable potential of this treatment is now being recognized. This Review covers the fundamental properties, clinical development and associated challenges of RPT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-608
Number of pages20
JournalNature Reviews Drug Discovery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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