The emergence of effective radionuclide therapeutics, such as radium-223 dichloride, [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE and [177Lu]Lu-PSMA ligands, over the last 10 years is driving a rapid expansion in molecular radiotherapy (MRT) research. Clinical trials that are underway will help to define optimal dosing protocols and identify groups of patients who are likely to benefit from this form of treatment. Clinical investigations are also being conducted to combine new MRT agents with other anticancer drugs, with particular emphasis on DNA repair inhibitors and immunotherapeutics. In this review, the case is presented for combining MRT with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). The technical and dosimetric challenges of combining two radiotherapeutic modalities have impeded progress in the past. However, the need for research into the specific radiobiological effects of radionuclide therapy, which has lagged behind that for EBRT, has been recognised. This, together with innovations in imaging technology, MRT dosimetry tools and EBRT hardware, will facilitate the future use of this important combination of treatments.
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol)
Combination, dosimetry, external beam radiotherapy, molecular radiotherapy