EANM position paper on the role of radiobiology in nuclear medicine

An Aerts, Uta Eberlein*, Sören Holm, Roland Hustinx, Mark Konijnenberg, Lidia Strigari, Fijs W.B. van Leeuwen, Gerhard Glatting, Michael Lassmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


With an increasing variety of radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic or therapeutic nuclear medicine as valuable diagnostic or treatment option, radiobiology plays an important role in supporting optimizations. This comprises particularly safety and efficacy of radionuclide therapies, specifically tailored to each patient. As absorbed dose rates and absorbed dose distributions in space and time are very different between external irradiation and systemic radionuclide exposure, distinct radiation-induced biological responses are expected in nuclear medicine, which need to be explored. This calls for a dedicated nuclear medicine radiobiology. Radiobiology findings and absorbed dose measurements will enable an improved estimation and prediction of efficacy and adverse effects. Moreover, a better understanding on the fundamental biological mechanisms underlying tumor and normal tissue responses will help to identify predictive and prognostic biomarkers as well as biomarkers for treatment follow-up. In addition, radiobiology can form the basis for the development of radiosensitizing strategies and radioprotectant agents. Thus, EANM believes that, beyond in vitro and preclinical evaluations, radiobiology will bring important added value to clinical studies and to clinical teams. Therefore, EANM strongly supports active collaboration between radiochemists, radiopharmacists, radiobiologists, medical physicists, and physicians to foster research toward precision nuclear medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3365-3377
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number11
Early online date29 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all EANM committee members, who responded to the nuclear medicine radiobiology questionnaire by the EANM Radiobiology Working Group, for their valuable input.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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