Theranostics Treatment: Talk to us about becoming a patient.

Last modified: January 20, 2022

What is theranostics?What is theranostics?

Theranostics is a personalised form of cancer treatment that combines diagnostic imaging to identify a person’s cancer cells and targeted therapy to treat their cancer. It aims to slow the growth and spread of cancer, relieve symptoms and maintain or improve quality of life.

Theranostics may be considered for people with advanced cancer, when standard treatment options are unsuitable or no longer effective and symptoms are affecting quality of life.

How does theranostics work?How does theranostics work?

The term theranostics comes from the combination of two words – ‘diagnostics’ and ‘therapeutics’. Click through the Phase 1 and Phase 2 steps below to find out how theranostics works.

Phase 1: Diagnostics

During the diagnostic stage, a radioactive drug called a radiopharmaceutical is injected into your bloodstream.

This radioactive drug is made up of a radioisotope which gives off a small amount of radiation, connected to a carrier molecule that can attach to cancer cells.

Led by the carrier molecule, the radioactive drug finds and attaches to the cancer cells in your body through a specific target on their surface.

The small amount of radiation from the radioisotope then shows up as ‘hot spots’ on a PET-CT scan.

This lets doctors see where the cancer is in your body and can help them decide whether targeted therapy is a suitable treatment option for you.

Phase 2: Therapy

For treatment, a similar radiopharmaceutical (radioactive drug) carrying a different radioisotope is injected into your blood stream.

This radioisotope is chosen as it gives off a type of radiation that aims to injure or kill the cancer cells.

Once in your bloodstream , the radioactive drug attaches to cancer cells with the specific target.

The radiation released from the radioisotope injures and potentially kills the cancer cells, avoiding damage to the healthy cells around them.

Targeting this radiation as much as possible to the cancer cells reduces the potential side effects you may experience from treatment.

What types of cancer can theranostics treat?What types of cancer can theranostics treat?

Theranostics is an emerging cancer treatment option which has had the most success in treating advanced prostate cancer and neuroendocrine cancers.

Neuroendocrine Tumours

We can also provide therapy for selected neuroendocrine tumours with Lutetium-177 DOTATATE therapy.

We are here for you, every step of the way.

To learn more about theranostics or find out how to receive this treatment at Icon, please click the button below.

Please note, theranostics is currently only available at Icon Cancer Centre North Lakes, Queensland.

Enquire Now

Frequently asked questions about theranostics Frequently asked questions about theranostics

How effective is theranostics?

Theranostics may work for different people in different ways. It does not aim to cure a person’s cancer however many people experience a relief in symptoms or slowed growth of their cancer.

Two major clinical trials studying Lu-177 PSMA therapy in people with advanced prostate cancer found that the therapy meaningfully reduced the size of tumours and symptoms for many people who participated in the study.1,2

1 Study of 177Lu-PSMA-617 In Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer (VISION). identifier: NCT03511664. Updated August 11, 2022. Accessed January 13, 2023.
2 A Trial of 177Lu-PSMA617 Theranostic Versus Cabazitaxel in Progressive Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer (TheraP). identifier: NCT03392428. Updated June 13, 2022. Accessed January 13, 2023. 

Who can receive theranostics?

Theranostics may be an option for people:

  • who have been diagnosed with advanced cancer
  • where other treatment options have not worked as well as expected or are unsuitable
  • where the cancer has spread to other areas of the body (metastasised)
  • where cancer symptoms are affecting their quality of life

A specialist and nuclear medicine physician involved in your care can help determine if theranostics is right for you.

Where is theranostics offered?

Theranostics is currently offered at Icon Cancer Centre North Lakes, Queensland.

Do I need a referral to be considered for Theranostics?

Yes, to receive theranostics at Icon you will need a referral from your specialist or oncologist. We will review this referral and your medical history to determine if theranostics may be suitable for you.

Our team can guide you through the process and provide you with all the information you need. To enquire or talk to us about theranostics, click the button below.

Enquire Now

Can I participate in a theranostics clinical trial?

At Icon, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to access clinical trials and the hope that they offer. With over 35 years’ experience in cancer research, we currently operate the largest private cancer clinical trials program in Australia – and all our patients have access to participate in these clinical trials.

To view our open clinical trials, please click the button below.

View open clinical trials

View all


Contact us
Become a patient