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Nuclear Medicine & Radiology

Nuclear medicine involves the administration into the body of radiopharmaceuticals, small and safe amounts of radioactive material used for both diagnostic and treatment purposes.

For example, using molecules to safely carry radioactive materials inside the human body is helping us to acquire more accurate images of tumours and to more effectively target and eliminate cancer cells. This method of combining therapeutic and diagnostic uses of radiopharmaceuticals is called theranostics. It ranks among the latest advances in cancer care and is one of several beneficial innovations the IAEA is helping to bring to patients worldwide.

Many Nuclear Medicine projects align with diagnostic clinical applications of standard and emerging hybrid imaging technologies such as SPECT/CT and PET/CT. These modalities enable the evaluation of patients with diverse health conditions; especially non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes complications, chronic respiratory diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders - major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide - exerting a heavy burden on health systems.

Nuclear medicine can help. In short, nuclear medicine applications span a broad spectrum, ranging from risk assessment to diagnosis; treatment monitoring to radionuclide therapies. Modern nuclear medicine therefore plays an essential role in achieving Personalized (or Precision) medicine, allowing both diagnosis and the selection of treatment tailored to the individual patient’s condition or predisposition towards disease.

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