Report: Molecular radiotherapy down, but not out

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Molecular radiotherapy needs an injection of research and funding to broaden its usage and expand its effectiveness as a minimally invasive method of cancer treatment, according to an April report released by the British Institute of Radiology (BIR).

Rapid growth in external beam therapy and chemotherapy has helped radiation oncologists and other physicians realize substantial gains in cancer treatment. Meanwhile, many clinicians argue that the innovation, infrastructure and availability of molecular radiotherapy have lagged behind the developments of the treatment’s more popular alternatives, according to the report.

BIR surveyed 232 U.K. providers in an effort to more precisely determine the prevalence of molecular radiotherapy. The report mixed optimism for the treatment’s future with regret as to its underdevelopment.

According to BIR, however, recent pharmaceutical developments, advances in quantitative imaging and radiation dosimetry have the potential to spark greater interest and use of molecular radiotherapy. The organization expressed the hope that its report will encourage further investigation into molecular radiotherapy, while projecting that recent developments will lead the molecular radiotherapy market to “grow significantly” over the next 10 years.