JRC has recently measured reference decay data for a suite of novel therapeutic nuclides to be used in alpha-immunotherapy for cancer.
Crucial data for the calculation of the dose received by a cancer patient has been found by accurate measurement of the half-life of these nuclides and the energy of the alpha-particles that they emit.
Alpha-particle emitting radionuclides are particularly effective in killing cancer cells, because they can deliver a high amount of energy at a short range, without affecting surrounding healthy human tissue. The received dose is proportional to the energy.
Half-lives are fundamental to determine how long the product will remain active in a patient's body. Therefore, a more precise value for the half-life reduces the uncertainty on the dose received by the patient.
The measurements were performed in the radionuclide metrology laboratory of the JRC-IRMM, in close collaboration with the alpha-immunotherapy experts at JRC-ITU and the isotope producers at the cyclotron of JRC-IHCP.
Our knowledge on these therapeutic nuclides has now drastically improved, considering that former information was based on scarce and imprecise measurements. The findings of this extensive study have been made public in a series of seven publications in scientific journals. A recent publication focuses on one of the most promising nuclides, 213Bi, which has already shown remarkable therapeutic responses. Read the last publication.