Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) is a type of targeted therapy that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells. It combines a monoclonal antibody—a type of protein that recognizes and binds to certain parts of cancer cells—with radioactive material. When the monoclonal antibody binds to the cancer cell, the radiation kills the cell.
Currently, RIT is used for the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (see examples below). RIT is also being evaluated for the treatment of other types of cancer, including prostate cancer and glioblastoma.
RIT is given on an outpatient basis, is generally completed in 10 days (as opposed to the longer duration of conventional chemotherapy), and avoids many of the side effects of chemotherapy. Because RIT may result in a temporary reduction in blood cell counts, patients typically need to have their blood cell levels monitored after treatment.
Examples of RIT
Zevalin® (ibritumomab tiuxetan): Zevalin therapy combines the monoclonal…
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