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October 25, 1985

Nuclear Medicine

JAMA. 1985;254(16):2325-2327. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360160157046

With the availability of virtually nontoxic low-radiation radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine now contributes to diagnosis and treatment in every medical and surgical specialty. The unique demonstration of functional anatomy (including remarkable advances in receptor and antigen localization) by nuclear medicine techniques has been made possible by the interdisciplinary collaboration of teams that include not only the nuclear physician but also chemists, physicists, radiopharmacists, engineers, and technologists. The development of new radiolabeled tracer molecules and more sophisticated computer-interfaced imaging instruments has led to significant advances in a number of clinically important areas.

Antitumor antibodies or immunoglobulin fragments (papain-cleaved Fab and the larger pepsin-cleaved F(ab')2, labeled with iodine 131, indium 111, or, more recently, technetium Tc 99m, have been successfully employed in tumor detection.1 Studies of several such systems, including anticarcinoembryonic antigen antibody and antibody directed against melanoma-associated proteins, indicate sensitivities of 80% to 90%. Some of the patients studied have