What is Theranostics?
Theranostics is a hybrid term that refers to the fusion of two words – therapy and diagnostics. The term was initially used in 1998 by John Funkhouser, who developed a test for monitoring the efficacy of a new anticoagulant drug.1
The term theranostics was coined to explain developments in science to establish more specific and individualized therapies for various pathologies, and to bring about a union of diagnostic and therapeutic applications into a single agent, thus leading to a promising therapeutic paradigm involving diagnosis, drug delivery and monitoring of treatment response.2
Theranostics plays an important role for both detection of malignant lesions throughout the body using tumor affinity compounds, and also treating lesions with radiotherapy emitted from beta- or alfa-emission from the same targeted radiolabeled compounds.3
Theranostics has been used for decades for the therapy of benign and malignant thyroid diseases. In recent years, theranostics is successfully applied to a whole range of other malignancies, including neuroendocrine tumors and prostate cancer.
1. Funkhouser J. Reinventing pharma: the theranostic revolution. Curr Drug Discov 2002;(AUG.):17–19.
2. Idée JM et al. Theranostics and contrast-agents for medical imaging: A pharmaceutical company viewpoint. Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2013;3: 292–7
3. Thomas Langbein et al. Future of Theranostics: An Outlook on Precision Oncology in Nuclear Medicine. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Sept 2019, 60 (Suppl. 2)