The effect of the alpha-emitting radionuclide lead-212 on human ovarian carcinoma: a potential new form of therapy

Gynecol Oncol. 1989 Feb;32(2):236-9. doi: 10.1016/s0090-8258(89)80040-x.


To improve response and survival of patients with ovarian carcinoma noncross-resistant forms of therapy must be developed. alpha-emitting radionuclides may be therapeutically useful since they can directly ionize with energies of 5 to 9 MeV, penetrate only a few cell diameters, and transfer a high amount of energy. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the alpha-emitter, lead-212 (212Pb), complexed to sulfur in a nude athymic mouse model (NIH:OVCAR-3) containing human ascites and solid epithelial ovarian carcinoma. Thirty-six nude mice 28 to 32 days old were injected with 10(7) to 10(8) carcinoma cells from donor mice. After 4 weeks, six groups of six nu/nu athymic BALB-C mice were intraperitoneally injected with 70, 50, 20, 5 microCi of 212Pb sulfur colloid, sulfur colloid, or saline. Tumor necrosis with a decrease in ascites and a dose-related survival were noted with doses of 50, 20, and 5 microCi. With 70 microCi acute gastrointestinal toxicity developed. These experiments form the basis for further investigations and the development of alpha-emitting radiocolloids which may be of therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of intraperitoneal ovarian carcinoma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lead Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Lead Radioisotopes