Theranostics or theragnostics?

We find many names for those we love

This is our perspective on recent years debate regarding the how to spell this fascinating word: “Theranostics” or “Theragnostics”? Both spellings have a long history of use, and it is understood that both versions refer to the treatment strategy that combines therapeutics with diagnostics and the word is derived from the Greek words therapia and diagnosis. 

In our search for answers following the debate on recent years, we came upon an interesting article¹ and we believe that Prof. George Babiniotis, Emeritus and Honorary Professor of Linguistics and former Rector (2000–2006) of the University of Athens has good and credible thoughts in this matter and our position is based on his reasoning. In the article Prof. Babiniotis explains the following: 

“Theragnostics is the better term. In theranostics the second part of the word “nostics” refer more to the disease than diagnostics. Linguistically, the better approach is a synergy of the two words therapo-gnostics because “thera” alone does not refer to therapy and could be confused with the Greek word for hunting.” 

Babiniotis argues that it is important to understand that the key to the term “theragnostics” is “gnosis”, not “agnosis”, whereas “agnosis” is derived from the Greek word agnosia which means a lack of knowledge. Thus, “theragnostics” is a better term with its emphasis on knowledge, and as the article elegantly summarizes “nuclear medicine with its combination of molecular imaging and molecular radiotherapy does indeed offer knowledge-based precision medicine”. 


Reference: ¹