Comparison Between β-Emitting Isotopes and α-Emitters Regarding Their Effects on Cancer Cells

  • Maurits W. Geerlings
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


This paper starts with the argument that selectivity criteria require that proper radiation oncology, with only a few very specific exceptions, should be by radio-immunotherapy rather than by just radiation therapy. Radio-immunotherapy can be based on α-particles and β-particles as the cancer cell killing vector. In a subsequent chapter, the distinction between these two therapeutic concepts, based on their distinctive physical properties, are described. Then possibilities and the limitations for specific applications are presented based on the choice of isotope as the cell-killing vector and the choice of monoclonal antibody—or a modern alternative—as the cell-finding vector. For applications with β-emitters, the reader is referred to many examples described in the other papers in this handbook. For α-emitters, the feasibility of the various isotopes and isotope combinations are discussed. Finally, an illustration is given for a rough estimation of single patient dose requirements.


Radiation Oncology Tumor Load Track Length Decay Cascade Source Isotope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bolch WE et al (2009) MIRD Pamphlet No. 21: a generalized schema for radiopharmaceutical dosimetry—standardization of nomenclature. JNM 50(3):477–484PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bruland OS (2009) Clinical development of bone-seeking 223Ra (Alpharadin) current status. JNM 50(Suppl 2) abstract book 35 p 9PGoogle Scholar
  3. Geerlings MW et al (1993) The feasibility of 225Ac as a source of alpha-particles in radio immunotherapy. Nucl Med Commun 14(2):121–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hindorf C, Chittenden S et al (2009) Dosimetry for 223Ra and its daughters. JNM 50(Suppl 2) abstract book 102 p 27PGoogle Scholar
  5. Jurcic JG et al (2002) Targeted alpha particle immunotherapy for myeloid leukemia. Blood 100(4):1233–1239PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. McDevitt MR et al (1999) An 225Ac/213Bi generator system for therapeutic clinical applications: construction and operation. Appl Radiat Isot 50(5):895–904PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. McDevitt MR et al (2000) An alpha particle emitting antibody(213Bi-J591) for radioimmunotherapy of prostate cancer. Cancer Res 60(21):6095–6100PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. McDevitt MR et al (2001) Tumor therapy with targeted atomic nanogenerators. Science 294(5546):1537–1540PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Schwartz J, Jaspreet J et al (2009) Determination of kidney dose distributions using autoradiography and HpGe spectroscopy of kidney after injection of 225Ac-HuM195. JNM 50(Suppl 2) abstract book 37 p 10PGoogle Scholar
  10. Sgouros G et al (1999) Pharmacokinetics and dosimetry of an α-particle emitter labeled antibody: 213Bi-HuM195 (anti-CD33) in patients with leukemia. J Nucl Med 40:1935–1946PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Todd L et al (2010) Sequential cytarabine and α-particle immunotherapy with bismuth-213-lintuzumab (HuM195) for acute myeloid leukemia. Clin Cancer Res 16(21):5303–5311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Vaidyanathan G et al (2009) An astatine-222 labeled PSMA inhibitor for targeted alpha-particle radiotherapy of prostat carcinoma. JNM 50(Suppl 2) abstract book 40 p 11PGoogle Scholar
  13. Wilbur D, Hamlin DK et al (2009) Isolation and protein labeling of t-21 from irradiated bismuth targets using a modified wet chemistry approach. JNM 50(Suppl 2) abstract book 99 p 26PGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MontaurouxFrance

Personalised recommendations