Radionuclide Therapy Management (2022)
The specific management of radionuclide therapies requires the nuclear medicine technologist to venture into new fields of expertise and deal with specific needs in daily practice.
Besides the daily routine of dealing with diagnostic procedures, some additional procedures are required and necessary when entering the field of radionuclide therapy.
In view of the increased use of radionuclide therapies, we are convinced that this guide will provide valuable support for technologists who are starting out in the specific area of radionuclide therapy. The use of radionuclide therapies is revolutionising nuclear medicine, and it is time to expand our knowledge and expertise in this area to meet the need for well-trained staff. To aid colleagues in facing the challenges ahead, we have opted to prioritise the management of radionuclide therapies over describing the specific use and applications of the relevant radiopharmaceuticals.
When initiating the Technologists’ Guide 2022 and assigning the individual chapters, we decided to devote more attention to managing radionuclide therapy and those specific tasks that do not feature so prominently in the diagnostic setting.
In therapeutic settings, we are more involved in the care of patients. For the patient, it is important to be well-informed about the procedure, the measures to be taken to protect the patient and the public environment, and the logistics and costs of the therapy. Depending on the local legislation, patients sometimes need to be hospitalised because of the high exposure to the immediate environment. During hospitalisation, patients have specific needs which require more attention on our part. There is a higher risk of unexpected incidents, and risk assessment is required to put adequate procedures in place. We also address some specific radiation protection measures relating to the different characteristics of the radionuclides used. Finally, when dealing with radioactive waste, handling radionuclides and managing the hospitalisation of patients, we need specific procedures to ensure that the waste can be released according to the local requirements.
The Technologists’ Guide 2022 brings together experts from the fields of dosimetry, imaging, radiation protection, patient care and waste management, including physicians, medical and health physicists, radiographers and nuclear medicine technologists. I would like to express my gratitude to all the authors who shared their knowledge and expertise with us. We very much appreciate their willingness to accept the invitation to volunteer and make time for writing alongside their existing daily workload.
We hope the Technologists’ Guide 2022 will provide you with new insights and supply useful information to facilitate the management of radionuclide therapies.