Innovative scientists initially began harnessing the power and potential of radiation for medical purposes in the 20th century. Since then, more and more discoveries and novel applications have been bettering human health day by day. Nuclear medicine is a relatively niche yet relevant field that’s developed quickly due to close partnerships between laboratories, institutions, and industries.
Manufactured radiolabeled compounds prove beneficial in a wide range of medical applications. Let’s examine closer the importance of these radioactive compounds, including radiopharmaceuticals and radionuclides. Here are five ways radiolabeling changed the medical field forever with the assistance of specialty instrumentation and techniques.
New Perspective: Diagnostics and Imaging
In the application of radiotracing, radiolabeled nuclides offer an extensive perspective of the physiological human body. A nuclear medical scan provides a detailed perspective beyond basic anatomy, greater than conventional ultrasound, CT scans, or MRIs.
Non-invasive in vivo tracking provides specific quantitative data about the innermost tissue and disease conditions in living subjects. Using sensitive clinical imaging techniques—such as a three-dimensional PET scan—physicians can detect differences in cells and pinpoint certain conditions that require treatment. Before this technology, such information could only be obtained through invasive procedures.
Radiotherapy: Targeted-Cell Treatment
In today’s medical community, radiotherapy is a common application of radiopharmaceuticals for treatment purposes. This is especially true for oncology. Physicians choose a suitable radionuclide and attach carrier molecules that fit the characteristics of a tumor. Then, the highly-targeted radionuclide deposits therapeutic radiation doses at the site.
Enhanced Drug Development for Diseases
Besides the above-mentioned diagnostics and treatment, radiolabeling plays a critical role in pharmaceutical development. This is life-changing science thanks to studies in pharmacokinetics. The ability to thoroughly test medications for safety and efficiency is another of the influential ways radiolabeling changed the medical field forever.
Faster Medicine-To-Patient Timeline
Drug discovery and development methods have provided a faster timeline of getting medications to patients. A greater understanding of biological processes can reduce the overall time and expense necessary to bring a medical product to market. The data gained through nuclear imaging during clinical phase trials have been revolutionary for individualized disease management.
Ongoing Advancements in Biomedical Research
Thanks to the ability to label radioactive compounds, scientists—and, in turn, physicians—can better understand the pathophysiology of human diseases and strive to discover fresh solutions. The medical field will only continue to change and adjust to the scope of these progressions and provide greater opportunities for successful patient management and care. Upcoming technologies may even produce options for personalized health care in the foreseeable future.
Moravek is a trusted contract manufacturer of radiolabeled compounds for clinical trials and medical research. As a world-renowned supplier, we have extensive industry experience and are ready to support any stage of the drug development process. Learn more about our cGMP and non-GMP radiolabeling services by contacting our team today.