Radioimmunotherapy is an emerging field of systemic radiation therapy. Certain cancers have a distinct molecular signature that normal cells don't have.
If a tumor-specific monoclonal antibody (MoAb) can target only cancer cells, attaching a radioactive molecule to the antibody will allow the radiation given off from the localized radiolabeled MoAbs to kill the tumor. In addition, the MoAbs themselves may stimulate the immune system to mediate cytotoxic effects and to possible even as a type of vaccine.
Currently, RIT has been helpful in the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma by targeting the CD20 molecule on B-lymphocytes, which tend to be very radiation sensitive. Currently the use of RIT for other cancers (e.g. prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer) is being studied before any widespread use. As molecular medicine develops, RIT is an area to expect newer approaches to using targeted therapy with radionuclides.
Currently, Radiation Oncology Associates offer RIT in New Hampshire at the following locations: