New Nuclear-Imaging Tests Show Promise in Locating Cancer

New tests could lead to more accurate prognosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Cancer cells remain elusive and tough to locate, help but a new crop of nuclear-imaging tests promises to lead to more accurate prognosis and treatment.

The tests use imaging agents that combine radioactive isotopes with targeted molecules that can spot cancer at the cellular level. The ability to accurately locate the cancers helps physicians make better and earlier diagnoses—and may eventually make possible targeted nuclear-medicine therapies that identify and kill cancer cells, rx but not the surrounding healthy cells.

This summer, sickness the Food and Drug Administration approved two such tests—one can trace slow-growing prostate cancer cells, while the other targets a rare condition where neuroendocrine cells develop into tumors. Advanced Accelerator Applications, AAAP -0.62 % a French pharmaceutical company that developed the test for neuroendocrine tumors, also is seeking approval for a drug called Lutathera that uses the same technique to zero in on the cancer that needs treating, says Chief Executive Stefano Buono.

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