For patients who aren’t candidates for surgery or chemotherapy — or for those who have aggressive, late-stage tumors — nuclear medicine can be a game-changing therapy.
Richard L. Wahl, MD, director of Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, shared with NBC4 Washington why the field of nuclear medicine is rapidly growing. “The radioactivity goes right to the tumor and delivers the radiation to the tumor and not so much the normal tissues,” said Wahl, the president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
Not only is nuclear medicine useful in treating cancer but also in identifying cancers and other diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and pulmonary embolism. “The amount of radioactivity that a patient gets is probably about like what one would get doing a transcontinental airline flight,” Wahl said. “So, it’s a very low dose, very safe.”
Watch the full interview at NBC4 Washington.