What is Theranostics?

Theranostics is a new form of cancer treatment combining diagnosis and medical treatment. The term theranostics is derived from a combination of ‘therapeutics’ and ‘diagnostics’.

This emerging field of medicine combines techniques and/or drugs to simultaneously diagnose and treat medical conditions.

The concept of theranostics is not a new one, with some forms of targeted cancer treatment having existed for over 75 years. In recent years, however, theranostics treatments have been rapidly developed which have the ability to directly target prostate and neuroendocrine tumours, with many more treatments in active development.

How Theranostics Works

Theranostics specifically targets cancer cells internally, and uses targeted biological tracers to deliver therapeutic does of radiation directly to cancer cells, while ignoring the healthy cells in your body.

Put simply, theranostics allows radiologists to treat cancer by specifically targeting the cancer cells and minimising absorption by normal organs. This allows effective treatment of certain types of cancer with minimal side effects.

Nanoparticle Technology in Theranostics


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Theranostics makes use of a medical application called ‘nanotechnology’, where the tumor is treated with nanoparticles.

These nanoparticles are injected directly into the tumor and are then flashed with near infrared laser light. The laser light heats the nanoparticles, thus damaging or killing the cancer cells.

Benefits of Theranostics

There are a number of advantages to this form of treatment, including:

  • Improved diagnosis
  • Tumour-specific delivery of drugs
  • Reduced damage to healthy tissue
  • Reduced delays in treatment time
  • Improved patient care

Types of Theranostics treatments

Theranostics is a rapidly advancing field of medicine. Many new therapies are currently under development around the world with the aim of treating different forms of cancer.

Uniting Care Medical Imaging’s Wesley Medical Imaging clinic currently offers four Theranostics treatments: Radium-223 Therapy, Lutetium Octreotate Therapy, Lutetium-177 PSMA Therapy, and Yttrium 90 SIRT Therapy. Read more about these Theranostics treatments via the links below.

Meet Our Theranostics Team

Professor David Wong leads a dedicated team treating men with Lutetium-177 PSMA treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

You can also read about some of our Theranostics treatment patient milestones.

Radium-223 TherapyRadium-223, or Xofigo therapy, is used in men whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones to treat symptoms such as severe pain. Radium-223 isRead More

Lutetium Octreotate TherapyLutetium-177 Octreotate Therapy is used as a treatment for people with tumours that emerge from the endocrine or nervous system; these are called neuroendocrine tumoursRead More

Yttrium 90 SIRT TherapyYttrium-90 SIRT Therapy, or Selective Internal Radiation Therapy, is a treatment for cancers and tumours that are located within the liver. The aim of thisRead More

Lutetium PSMA TherapyLutetium-177 PSMA Therapy, or Lutetium-177 Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Therapy is a treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer. It is to be used predominantly whenRead More