Theranostics in Bangladesh: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Perspective

  • Shamim Momtaz Ferdousi BegumEmail author
  • Lutfun Nisa
  • Azmal K. Sarker


Background and Current Status of Theranostics

Therapeutic nuclear medicine (NM) in Bangladesh began in the early 1980s with the application of radioactive iodine for treatment of thyroid cancer and primary hyperthyroidism. Since then, NM practice has remarkably developed in the country with the advancement of instrumentation, radiopharmacy, and information technology. The government took the initiative to establish four PET-CT centers at different NM centers, including one at the National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (NINMAS). A further development is the installation of a cyclotron center (18-MeV cyclotron) at NINMAS by the government’s fund. Currently, NM is providing good health services to oncology patients throughout the country. More than 20 NM centers are functioning in different parts of the country, and therapeutic NM has an important place. However, conventional radioactive iodine still remains the major theranostic application.

Challenges and Future Perspective

The expansion and development of therapeutic NM for other cancers have been limited due to a number of challenging factors. A brief overview of the history and current status of NM in Bangladesh is presented here with an examination of factors that pose as obstacles to the introduction and development of new therapeutic technologies. Finally, future perspectives are discussed with ways to mitigate existing problems and challenges.


Theranostics Bangladesh Radioactive iodine therapy Bangladesh atomic energy commission National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences 



The authors would like to thank the Thyroid Division of NINMAS and all Institutes of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMASes) under BAEC.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Shamim MF Begum, Lutfun Nisa, and Azmal K. Sarker declare that they have no conflict of interest. There is no source of funding.

Ethical Approval

This is a perspective article describing the summation information on the basis of retrospective data from different nuclear medicine institutes. Data were obtained with the consent of the institutes. Institutional basic data contain human participant involvement in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants during collection of the basic data in individual institute.

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. 1.
    Hussain R. History and Perspectives of nuclear medicine in Bangladesh. Asia Oceania J Nucl Med Biol. 2016;4:5–8.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hasan M. Present, Past and future of nuclear medicine in Bangladesh (editorial). Bangladesh J Nucl Med. 2014;17:8–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fatima Begum. 2016. THE GURDIAN: nuclear medicine and allied sciences in Bangladesh: past, present and future. Accessed 15 Oct 2018.
  4. 4.
    Bashar R. 2017. Bangladesh proposes eight new nuclear medicine centres across country. Available at 15 Oct 2018.
  5. 5.
    Afroz S, Hossain S, Hafiz N, Taslima DA, Rashid H. Radioiodine therapy in management of thyroid carcinoma—a review of 138 patients. IAEA-SR-209/6;1999.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sultana S, Nahar N, Begum F, Alam F, Hasan M, Hussain R, et al. Management of Patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma—SNMB guidelines. Bangladesh J Nucl Med. 2015;18:73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hussain R, Sultana S, Jabin Z, Perveen R, Nath KK, Alam F. Outcome of strontium-90 irradiation on conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma: a 6-year experience [abstract]. World J Nucl Med. 2015;14(Suppl 1):S103–10.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alam F, Islam ASMM, Karim MA. Therapy protocol for thyroid cancer and thyrotoxicosis with I 131 adopted in the National Workshop on Management of Thyroid Cancer & Thyrotoxicosis by Nuclear Medicine Technique—a consensus report. Bangladesh J Nucl Med. 2002;5:39–42.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Begum F, Sultana S, Nahar N, Alam F, Hasan M, Hussain R, et al. Protocol for management of hyperthyroidism by radioactive iodine (RAIT)-SNMB guidelines. Bangladesh J Nucl Med. 2015;18:85–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Adedapo KS, Onimode YA, Ejeh JE, Adepoju AO. Avoidable challenges of a nuclear medicine facility in a developing nation. Indian J Nucl Med. 2013;28:195–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Azim MA, Hasan M, Hossain R, Ansari IH, Nasreen F, Hossain N, et al. Production and therapeutic application of iodine-131 in nuclear medicine of Bangladesh: present status and future plan: current and future therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals [abstract]. World J Nucl Med. 2016;15(Suppl 1):S3–39.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Maj A. Thyroid disorders in Bangladesh—past, present and future [editorial]. J Dhaka Med Coll. 2014;23:151–2.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Act 2012. Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Ministry of Science and Technology. Retrieved 15 Oct, 2018 from
  14. 14.
    Directorate General of Drug Administration MOHFW. Guidance on clinical trial inspection.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Directorate General of Drug Administration MOHFW. Guidance for good clinical practice or trials on pharmaceutical products.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PET-CT Division, National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (NINMAS)Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC)DhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Nuclear Medicne, NINMASDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Mitford (INMAS)DhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations