Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: The Dawn of the Era of Nuclear Medicine?

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 15;22(12):6413. doi: 10.3390/ijms22126413.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), accounting for 90-95% of all pancreatic tumors, is a highly devastating disease associated with poor prognosis. The lack of accurate diagnostic tests and failure of conventional therapies contribute to this pejorative issue. Over the last decade, the advent of theranostics in nuclear medicine has opened great opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of several solid tumors. Several radiotracers dedicated to PDAC imaging or internal vectorized radiotherapy have been developed and some of them are currently under clinical consideration. The functional information provided by Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) could indeed provide an additive diagnostic value and thus help in the selection of patients for targeted therapies. Moreover, the therapeutic potential of β-- and α-emitter-radiolabeled agents could also overcome the resistance to conventional therapies. This review summarizes the current knowledge concerning the recent developments in the nuclear medicine field for the management of PDAC patients.

Keywords: PDAC; internal vectorized radiotherapy; molecular imaging; nuclear medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Medicine*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry


  • Radiopharmaceuticals