Glossary

Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)

18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is the most widely used contrast agent in PET. FDG is a compound in which the radioactive isotope fluorine-18 is attached to a molecule of glucose, or sugar. Once in the body, the FDG is absorbed by various tissues and detected by a PET scanner. Images show how the FDG radiotracer is distributed within the body, which help physicians assess how well the body is functioning and diagnose various medical conditions.

Molecular Imaging

Molecular imaging is the use of imaging technologies to assess biological activity in the body and is a valuable way to obtain medical information that may otherwise require exploratory surgery or more expensive diagnostic tests.

Molecular Nuclear Diagnostics (MND)

MND employs a variety of imaging devices and radiopharmaceuticals including PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and SPECT (Single Photon Emission Tomography). These highly sensitive imaging technologies enable physicians to diagnose different types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and other diseases in their early stages.

Molecular Nuclear Medicine (MNM)

MNM is a medical specialty that uses trace amounts of active substances, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of organs and lesions and to treat various diseases, like cancer. The technique works by injecting into the patient’s body targeted radiopharmaceuticals that accumulate in the organs or lesions and reveal specific biochemical processes.

Molecular Nuclear Therapy (MNT)

MNT uses targeted radiopharmaceuticals that emit electrons, the same particles used in Radiotherapy. These electrons are emitted from within a cancer cell for a short period of time, destroying unhealthy cells, while sparing surrounding healthy tissues.

Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT)

PRRT is a form of molecular targeted therapy which involves the systemic administration of a radiopharmaceutical composed of a small targeting protein or peptide that is coupled with a radioisotope or radionuclide emitting beta radiation. The peptide-radionuclide complex, also known as a radiopeptide, is injected into the patient’s bloodstream and binds to specific receptors expressed on the tumor cell’s surface. The radiopeptide is then internalized into the tumor cell, delivering small doses of cancer-killing radiation.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

PET is a nuclear medicine imaging technique used in diagnosis and biomedical research. In PET, a targeting molecule labeled with a short-lived positron-emitting radionuclide is injected into the body. The activity of the radiopharmaceutical is quantitatively measured throughout the target organs. Data are analyzed and reconstructed by means of a computer to produce functional images of the organs being scanned.

Radiopharmaceuticals

A radiopharmaceutical is a radioactive drug. Radiopharmaceuticals are used in the field of nuclear medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases.

Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT)

SPECT is a nuclear medicine imaging technique used in diagnosis and biomedical research. In SPECT, a radiolabeled chemical is injected into the bloodstream, where it emits single gamma rays that are detected by the SPECT camera. The test differs from a PET scan in that the tracer stays in the blood stream rather than being absorbed by surrounding tissues, thereby limiting the images to areas where blood flows.

Theragnostics

Theragnostics is a patient management strategy involving the integration of diagnostics and therapeutics. In the context of nuclear medicine, theragnostics refers to the use of targeting molecules labeled either with diagnostic radionuclides or with therapeutic radionuclides for diagnosis and therapy of a particular disease.