Theranostics continue to gain momentum

Theranostics continue to gain momentum

John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 24, 2019
Molecular Imaging
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

"If you look at Lutathera, there is growing evidence that it could be used for many other tumors," said Johnson. "For example, it is used in many places off-label or in some parts of Europe where it's reimbursable for thoracic carcinoid tumors, as well as medullary thyroid cancer. We have also been exploring its use in pheochromocytoma, glomus tumors, pituitary neuroendocrine tumors, and meningiomas."

To Goethals, with MEDraysintell, reimbursement will be the main driver determining growth in theranostics.

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“Reimbursement will be directly linked to the ability of the industry to demonstrate that the expensive drug to be used has the highest chance to be efficient in this specific patient,” he said “Radiodiagnostic agents will be used to make the distinction between responders and non-responders and only on the basis of the imaging or selection agent, treatment will be allowed/reimbursed.”

But to Herrmann, tapping into that growth requires rethinking the structure of nuclear medicine and its role within the healthcare ecosystem.

“We need to make sure there are enough people in nuclear medicine in general, which could potentially be done by making nuclear medicine departments independent in the U.S.,” said Herrmann. “We have to redesign the profile of nuclear medicine, become more clinical and active with patients, and become better trained as real doctors instead of just focusing on diagnostics.”

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