Renal toxicity after radionuclide therapy

Radiat Res. 2004 May;161(5):607-11. doi: 10.1667/rr3105.


During the past 10 years, a variety of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments, and low-molecular- weight oncophilic peptides have been used to deliver radioactivity to target cells for therapeutic purposes. The high and persistent localization of several of these radiolabeled molecules in the kidneys raised concern about potential renal radiation toxicity compromising therapeutic effectiveness. In particular, radiolabeled peptides, such as yttrium-90-labeled synthetic somatostatin analogues, have initiated a discussion on the safety profiles of the various somatostatin derivatives in recent clinical trials. In general, the toxicity risk seems to depend on the characteristics of the oncophilic molecule, such as the molecular weight, electric charges and clearance pathways as well as the chemical and physical characteristics of the applied radionuclide. Encouraging results for the prevention of radiation-induced renal damage by radiolabeled peptides have been obtained by co-infusion of positively charged amino acids. The available literature on nephrotoxicity after radiolabeled peptide therapy is reviewed, and therapeutic options that have become available as a result of greater insights into putative pathogenic mechanisms are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radioisotopes / adverse effects*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*


  • Radioisotopes