Radioimmunotherapy with alpha-particle emitting radionuclides

Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004 Dec;48(4):289-96.


An important consideration in the development of effective strategies for radioimmunotherapy is the nature of the radiation emitted by the radionuclide. Radionuclides decaying by the emission of alpha-particles offer the possibility of matching the cell specific reactivity of monoclonal antibodies with radiation with a range of only a few cell diameters. Furthermore, alpha-particles have important biological advantages compared with external beam radiation and beta-particles including a higher biological effectiveness, which is nearly independent of oxygen concentration, dose rate and cell cycle position. In this review, the clinical settings most likely to benefit from alpha-particle radioimmunotherapy will be discussed. The current status of preclinical and clinical research with antibodies labeled with 3 promising alpha-particle emitting radionuclides - (213)Bi, (225)Ac, and (211)At - also will be summarized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinium / therapeutic use*
  • Alpha Particles / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Astatine / therapeutic use*
  • Bismuth / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Isotopes / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Isotopes
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Actinium
  • Bismuth
  • Astatine