Nuclear Medicine and Theranostics

Our Mission

"Excellence in Patient Care and Precision Medicine"

At Banner-University Medical Center Tucson and The University of Arizona, we have state-of-the-art cameras. Our Nuclear Medicine and Theranostics professionals include dedicated Nuclear Medicine Board Physicians and licensed Nuclear Medicine technologists. Combining our state-of-the-art cameras with a dedicated nuclear medicine board specialized team brings precision medicine to our patients and their referring physicians. Using advanced technology and technics in performing and interpreting nuclear medicine exams is the core of our practice. 

Practice of Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Oncology

The Nuclear Medicine and Theranostics Division uses small amounts of radioactive materials to image specific organs or system functions within the body. Our Nuclear Medicine practice divides into two distinct categoreis: Diagnosis and Therapy.


With the use of radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive element attached to a drug), we can trace different processes in our bodies. This method allows us to diagnose or tracer different diseases. Our diagnostic practice includes both oncology and non-oncology exams.


For the oncology practice, we use different tracers to help stage cancers, mainly with a PET/CT scanner. PET is the abbreviation for positron emission tomography, and CT is the abbreviation for computed tomography. A PET/CT scanner is a hybrid scanner that combines the molecular/functional imaging of PET with the anatomical detail of CT. Some other oncological diseases scan with SPECT/CT. A SPECT is a Single-photon emission computed tomography (functional images) hybrid with a CT (anatomical images)

  • For newly diagnosed cancers,  we assist in localizing the disease and evaluate if the cancer spread to other areas.
  • For patients with treated cancer, we help determine if the cancer responded to the therapy or if it came back.
Oncology PET Tracers we use in Banner (all FDA approved)
  1. FDG- Use for a variety of cancers
  2. PSMA- Use for newly diagnosed and recurrent prostate cancer
  3. Fluciclovine – Use for recurrent prostate cancer
  4. DOTA-TATE- Use for neuroendocrine cancers
  5. FES- Use for metastatic breast cancer for patients with ER (estrogen receptor) positive cancer
Oncology General Nuclear medicine Tracers we use in Banner (all FDA approved)
  1. Iodine 131/123 – Thyroid cancer
  2. Tc99m-MDP bone scan – some cancers that spread to the bones
  3. I123MIBG- Neuroblastoma, paraganglioma, non-oncological and oncological pheochromocytoma.
  4. Tc99m tilmanocept or Tc99m Sulfor-Colloid- preoperative lymphoscintigraphy for mapping of lymph nodes (skin, vulvar, breast cancers)
  5. Tc99m MAA for evaluation prior to liver ablation with Y90
  6. Cancer dosimetry; I131 -thyroid , Lu177



In non-oncology practice, we use PET/CT and SPECT or SPECT/CT, Pinhole CZT (cadmium zinc telluride) cardiac camera. SPECT is a Single-photon emission computed tomography. The use of SPECT/CT and CZT cameras is also known as “General Nuclear Medicine.” With the use of low doses of radioactive materials, we can trace and diagnose disease in many organs in our bodies.

Exams we offer*

*If you cannot find the exam you are looking for, please contact us at (520) 694-0111

  • Alzheimer's disease (Amyvid PET, FDG)
  • Epilepsy (FDG PET/CT, Neurolite SPECT/CT)
  • Dementia and Parkinsonian (DaTscan, FDG)
  • Brain perfusion studies
    • Suspected brain death
    • Carotid occlusion
    • Diamox challenge
  • Dacryoscintigraphy (tears study)
Thyroid (hyperfunctioning)
  • Graves
  • Multinodular goiter
  • Toxic nodule
  • Subacute thyroiditis
  • CTEPH Chronic thromboembolism Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Acute Pulmonary Embolism
  • Lung Quantitation
  • Perfusion study for the evaluation of ischemic heart diseases
  • Cardiac amyloidosis
  • Cardiac sarcoidosis
  • Liver: HIDA
    • Acute or chronic cholecystitis
  • Stomach: Gastric emptying
  • Peritoneal ascites Shunt
  • Ventricular peritoneal Shunt
  • Kidneys: obstruction and function
  • Lymphedema
  • CSF leak
Bones (non-oncological bone scans)
  • Infection
  • Chronic bone disease
  • Bone density (DEXA- MSK section)
Whole body
  • Infectious of unknown origin
  • Infected hardware implants

Our Cameras


Therapy (Theranostic)

What is Theranostics?

Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging use small and safe amounts of radioactive material inside the body to see how organs or tissue are functioning (for diagnosis) or to target and destroy damaged or diseased organs or tissue (for treatment).

The Theranostics Center at Banner - University Medical Center and The University of Arizona - Tucson is designated as a Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence. We are the first clinic in the state of Arizona to receive this prestigious designation. Learn more about our THERANOSTICS CLINIC

Therapies we Perform

  1. Iodine ablations
  2. Xofigo (Metastatic prostate cancer Bone)
  3. Pluvicto (Metastatic Prostate cancer systemic)
  4. Luthatera (Metastatic Neuroendocrine Tumor)
  5. Y90 Liver ablations (Liver cancer)- Done in Interventional Radiology