Radiolabelled therapies for medullary thyroid cancer

This treatment uses a radioactive substance to destroy the cancer. It is not often used to treat medullary thyroid cancer.

Radiolabelled therapies use a radioactive substance, which is attached to a type of chemical, to destroy the cancer. Some medullary thyroid cancers (MTC) absorb large amounts of certain chemicals.

You will have a scan that uses a tiny amount of radioactive substance. It tests whether the tumour absorbs a large amount of these chemicals. If it does, you have the treatment using a higher dose of the radioactive substance.

The treatment is given as a drip into a vein. As the chemical is absorbed, you also absorb the radioactivity. This destroys cancer cells.

Because it is a radioactive substance, you will have it in a special ward. You will be looked after in a room on your own. This is so that other people are not exposed to the radioactivity. Your doctor will explain more about this treatment and any safety precautions you need to take.

Radiolabelled therapy is not often used. It is more common to have targeted therapies. Your doctor will explain more about this treatment if they think it is suitable for you.