Astatine-211: production and availability

Curr Radiopharm. 2011 Jul;4(3):177-85. doi: 10.2174/1874471011104030177.


The 7.2-h half life radiohalogen (211)At offers many potential advantages for targeted α-particle therapy; however, its use for this purpose is constrained by its limited availability. Astatine-211 can be produced in reasonable yield from natural bismuth targets via the (209)Bi(α,2n)(211)At nuclear reaction utilizing straightforward methods. There is some debate as to the best incident α-particle energy for maximizing 211At production while minimizing production of (210)At, which is problematic because of its 138.4-day half life α-particle emitting daughter, (210)Po. The intrinsic cost for producing (211)At is reasonably modest and comparable to that of commercially available (123)I. The major impediment to (211)At availability is attributed to the need for a medium energy α-particle beam for its production. On the other hand, there are about 30 cyclotrons in the world that have the beam characteristics required for (211)At production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alpha Particles / therapeutic use
  • Astatine / supply & distribution*
  • Astatine / therapeutic use*
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use


  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Astatine