Cancer radioimmunotherapy with alpha-emitting nuclides

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Olivier CouturierMichel Chérel

Abstract

In lymphoid malignancies and in certain solid cancers such as medullary thyroid carcinoma, somewhat mixed success has been achieved when applying radioimmunotherapy (RIT) with beta-emitters for the treatment of refractory cases. The development of novel RIT with alpha-emitters has created new opportunities and theoretical advantages due to the high linear energy transfer (LET) and the short path length in biological tissue of alpha-particles. These physical properties offer the prospect of achieving selective tumoural cell killing. Thus, RIT with alpha-emitters appears particularly suited for the elimination of circulating single cells or cell clusters or for the treatment of micrometastases at an early stage. However, to avoid non-specific irradiation of healthy tissues, it is necessary to identify accessible tumoural targets easily and rapidly. For this purpose, a small number of alpha-emitters have been investigated, among which only a few have been used for in vivo preclinical studies. Another problem is the availability and cost of these radionuclides; for instance, the low cost and the development of a reliable actinium-225/bismuth-213 generator were probably determining elements in the choice of bismuth-213 in the only h...Continue Reading

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