Production logistics and radionuclidic purity aspects of 153Sm for radionuclide therapy

Nucl Med Commun. 2002 Jan;23(1):83-9. doi: 10.1097/00006231-200201000-00013.


153Sm, an attractive therapeutic radionuclide, was produced by neutron activation of both natural Sm2O3 and 98% enriched 152Sm2O3 targets. The production logistics and radionuclidic purity aspects of 153Sm obtained using both these targets are discussed with respect to the intended end use for metastatic bone pain palliation (MBPP) in terminal cancer patients and radiation synovectomy (RS) of medium size joints. The specific activity of 153Sm obtained was around 11 GBq x mg(-1) (approximately 300 mCi x mg(-1)) and 44 GBq x mg(-1) (approx. 1200 mCi x mg(-1)) from natural and enriched targets, respectively. The level of the long-lived radionuclidic impurity burden in 153Sm obtained from the natural Sm2O3 targets, namely, due to 154Eu (5 Bq x MBq(-1) 153Sm (5 nCi x mCi(-1) 153Sm)) and 155Eu (75 Bq x MBq(-1) 153Sm (75 nCi x mCi(-1) 153Sm)), appears low enough not to pose a problem, both in the palliative treatment of terminal cancer patients (at 1.85-2.22 GBq (50-60 mCi) dose) as well as in RS (at 74 MBq (2 mCi) dose). The 154Eu content in 153Sm from the enriched target was comparable, while, as expected, the level of 155Eu was nearly two orders of magnitude lower. There is a notable overall advantage of 153Sm over the use of 186Re, the other radionuclide of interest for the same purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Compounding
  • Europium / chemistry
  • Neutron Activation Analysis
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / isolation & purification
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • Samarium / chemistry*
  • Samarium / isolation & purification
  • Samarium / therapeutic use
  • Spectrometry, Gamma


  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Samarium
  • Europium