Radioligand therapy is a specialised treatment that requires multidisciplinary collaboration to be delivered effectively. In 2021, ESMO and EANM hosted their first course on diagnostic and therapeutic applications of nuclear medicine in oncology.1 2 The course was developed to help build awareness of theranostics, including radioligand therapy, and foster its collaborative delivery between the different stakeholders: oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiation oncologists and physicists.3 The hope was that entire teams would attend the course together.3
The course is particularly targeted at oncologists as there is currently limited awareness of radiopharmaceutical therapies among this group. As oncologists are often responsible for referring people with cancer for treatment, increasing their awareness of how these therapies fit into wider diagnostic and treatment planning is essential to make them available to patients.4 This will become increasingly important as the demand for radioligand therapy increases with potential future approvals for wider use, for instance in cancers predominantly treated in community settings.
The course covers:
- current applications of theranostics in cancer
- basic information about theranostics and their application in thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine neoplasms and prostate cancer
- the principles of nuclear medicine and systemic cancer therapies
- the interaction between oncology and nuclear medicine experts.1 2
A core component of the two-day 2022 course held in Essen, Germany, was the inclusion of practical sessions.3 5 Attendees listened to case presentations and took part in a simulated multidisciplinary team meeting to discuss the potential use of radioligand therapy.6 These practical sessions allowed attendees to engage and ask more questions, something that was noted as missing during the virtual 2021 course.3