Hematologist (Blood Specialist) Questions Lymphoma

How can nuclear medicine treat cancer?

My mom has non-hodgkins lymphoma and her and her doctor want to treat it with nuclear medicine. How can it really help?

3 Answers

There are different products that are radioactive that can be used either by itself or tagged to other tumor targeted compounds. Mostly used for thyroid cancer or certain kinds of lymphoma.
Radiotherapy is used to treat lymphoma. As far as I know, nuclear medicine is used to diagnose the extent of cancers.
It depends on the type of NHL your mother has. If she has low grade or follicular lymphoma that has been refractory (or unsuccessfully treated by other agents), she is a candidate to receive this therapy. It is a radioimmunotherapy: ‘radio’ because it uses a radioactive isotope that, as it decays, emits energy that kills the lymphoma cells; and ‘immuno’ because it is an antibody that attaches to a specific receptor found in abundance.