The Emergence of Theranostics in the Philippines: Overcoming Challenges and Bringing Hope

  • Patricia A. BautistaEmail author


Medical managements are becoming personalized while diseases are being understood at the molecular level. Nuclear medicine is one of the fields actively contributing to this development. In particular, theranostics, a combinatorial term for therapy and diagnostics, enables accurate imaging and subsequent targeted radionuclide treatment. Due to its high impact in healthcare, many countries have begun to offer Ga-68 PET/CT scans and Lu-177 therapies. The Philippines has followed suit through the initiative of this author and able support of the administration and staff of St. Luke’s Medical Center. The Ga-68 DOTATATE and PSMA PET/CT scans became officially available in January 2018 while the first peptide receptor radionuclide therapy for neuroendocrine tumor and first PSMA radioligand therapy for prostate cancer occurred in May and June 2018, respectively. Amidst past, present, and future challenges, theranostics has emerged in the Philippines, offering hope to cancer patients in the country.


Theranostics Ga-68/Lu-177 DOTATATE Ga-68/Lu-177 PSMA Philippines Pioneer 



The author would like to thank Prof. Dr. Baum and his staff at Zentralklinik Bad Berka for their generosity, the St. Luke’s Medical Center administration for their approval, the SLMC-QC PET Center staff for their substantial help, and the SLMC-QC Nuclear Medicine staff for their cooperation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Patricia A. Bautista declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

No informed consent was necessary.


  1. 1.
    Herrmann K, Larson SM, Weber WA. Theranostic concepts: more than just a fashion trend – introduction and overview. J Nucl Med. 2017;58:1S–2S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sawin CT, Becker DV. Radioiodine and the treatment of hyperthyroidism: the early history. Thyroid. 1997;7(2):163–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hofmann M, Maecke H, Borner R, et al. Biokinetics and imaging with the somatostatin receptor PET radioligand (68)Ga-DOTATOC: preliminary data. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2001;28:1751–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rösch F, Baum RP. Generator-based PET radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging of tumours: on the way to theranostics. Dalton Trans. 2011;40:6104–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baum RP, Kulkarni HR. Theranostics: from molecular imaging using Ga-68 labeled tracers and PET/CT to personalized radionuclide therapy – the Bad Berka experience. Theranostics. 2012;2(5):437–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bautista PA, San Luis TOL. Nuclear medicine in the Philippines: a glance at the past, a gaze at the present, and a glimpse of the future. Asia Ocean J Nucl Med Biol. 2016;4(2):113–8.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zaknun JJ, Bodei L, Mueller-Brand J, et al. The joint IAEA, EANM, and SNMMI practical guidance on peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) in neuroendocrine tumours. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013;40(5):800–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Virgolini I, Decristoforo C, Haug A, Fanti S, Uprimny C. Current status of theranostics in prostate cancer. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2018;45:471–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET CenterSt. Luke’s Medical CenterQuezon CityPhilippines

Personalised recommendations