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Bone metastases are a painful and complex condition that overwhelmingly impacts the prognosis and quality of life of cancer patients. Over the years, nuclear medicine has made remarkable progress in the diagnosis and management of bone metastases. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent advancements in nuclear medicine for the diagnosis and management of bone metastases. Furthermore, the review explores the role of targeted radiopharmaceuticals in nuclear medicine for bone metastases, focusing on radiolabeled molecules that are designed to selectively target biomarkers associated with bone metastases, including osteocytes, osteoblasts, and metastatic cells. The applications of radionuclide-based therapies, such as strontium-89 (Sr-89) and radium-223 (Ra-223), are also discussed. This review also highlights the potential of theranostic approaches for bone metastases, enabling personalized treatment strategies based on individual patient characteristics. Importantly, the clinical applications and outcomes of nuclear medicine in osseous metastatic disease are discussed. This includes the assessment of treatment response, predictive and prognostic value of imaging biomarkers, and the impact of nuclear medicine on patient management and outcomes. The review identifies current challenges and future perspectives on the role of nuclear medicine in treating bone metastases. It addresses limitations in imaging resolution, radiotracer availability, radiation safety, and the need for standardized protocols. The review concludes by emphasizing the need for further research and advancements in imaging technology, radiopharmaceutical development, and integration of nuclear medicine with other treatment modalities. In summary, advancements in nuclear medicine have significantly improved the diagnosis and management of osseous metastatic disease and future developements in the integration of innovative imaging modalities, targeted radiopharmaceuticals, radionuclide production, theranostic approaches, and advanced image analysis techniques hold great promise in improving patient outcomes and enhancing personalized care for individuals with bone metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108879
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Bone metastases
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radionuclide
  • Radiopharmaceutical
  • Theranostics


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