Radio-pharmaceuticals

Md.Rashidur Rahman
A radiopharmaceutical is a new concept in the perspective of Bangladesh. But the practice was started more than three decades ago. Most of us familiar with general Pharmaceuticals like different dosage form of medicine. Radiopharmaceuticals mean a radioactive compound that consists of radioisotope with biological material. This isotope is labelled with affibody, enzymes, proteins or antibody etc.

Main applications of Radiopharmaceuticals are in research and clinical use. There are many approved Radiopharmaceuticals that are now used in the hospitals as a routine basis. For example, 89Sr Chloride and 153Sm-ethylene diamine tetramethylene phosphonic acid (153Sm-EDTMP) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of painful bone metastases. One promising investigational agent 186Re was not universally approved but widely used in Europe. These Radiopharmaceuticals are used to make molecular imaging that helps doctors to identify and treat various diseases.

Molecular radionuclide imaging is an emerging technology that is used to visualize disease at the cellular and molecular level. For detecting and staging tumours, this imaging technique has a great and significant role in oncological work. This type of imaging is an exciting and rapidly advancing area of medical research. Different medical imaging modalities such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Computed Tomography (CT) are very powerful tools nowadays that can be useful in clinical set up for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. That will also be beneficial for the betterment of patient health care management.

Diagnostics cancer needs high contrast imaging in cancer-associated areas and lower uptake in the normal organ. It is challenging to develop imaging agents which have this type of criteria. The basic concept is that when Radiopharmaceuticals are administered inside the body it goes to the target, then collide with electrons and emits radiation as the photon. These photons are then detected by detector and images are constructed in the computer.

The treatment about cancer is not reached at its highest level yet. A conventional method is not a solution because these cannot cure cancer totally. Conventional treatment approaches include external beam radiation, orthopaedic intervention, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, bisphosphonates, steroids, and radiopharmaceuticals.

So we need something that can not only prevent cancer but also cure the disease. So the researcher coming forward to do advanced thinking on how to solve this problem. Medical diagnostics and treatment with PET and SPECT can help in this regard. Metastasis is characteristics of many cancers and cannot be diagnosed in many cases by a conventional method like X-ray or CT alone. But PET can detect this metastasis accurately where it is. So PET is becoming popular in clinical setup because it can give an idea exactly where the metastasis is.

The limitation of traditional cancer therapy is their relative low specificity towards tumour cell. Tissue targeted radiotherapy can be an answer in this regard but this is experimental. Current cancer therapies need significant improvement so that cancer can be considered as manageable rather than a fatal disease. Medical uses of Radiopharmaceutical can play a great role in this regard.

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