Ra-224 labeling of calcium carbonate microparticles for internal α-therapy: Preparation, stability, and biodistribution in mice

J Labelled Comp Radiopharm. 2018 May 30;61(6):472-486. doi: 10.1002/jlcr.3610. Epub 2018 Mar 12.


Internal therapy with α-emitters should be well suited for micrometastatic disease. Radium-224 emits multiple α-particles through its decay and has a convenient 3.6 days of half-life. Despite its attractive properties, the use of 224 Ra has been limited to bone-seeking applications because it cannot be stably bound to a targeting molecule. Alternative delivery systems for 224 Ra are therefore of considerable interest. In this study, calcium carbonate microparticles are proposed as carriers for 224 Ra, designed for local therapy of disseminated cancers in cavitary regions, such as peritoneal carcinomatosis. Calcium carbonate microparticles were radiolabeled by precipitation of 224 Ra on the particle surface, resulting in high labeling efficiencies for both 224 Ra and daughter 212 Pb and retention of more than 95% of these nuclides for up to 1 week in vitro. The biodistribution after intraperitoneal administration of the 224 Ra-labeled CaCO3 microparticles in immunodeficient mice revealed that the radioactivity mainly remained in the peritoneal cavity. In addition, the systemic distribution of 224 Ra was found to be strongly dependent on the amount of administered microparticles, with a reduced skeletal uptake of 224 Ra with increasing dose. The results altogether suggest that the 224 Ra-labeled CaCO3 microparticles have promising properties for use as a localized internal α-therapy of cavitary cancers.

Keywords: alpha therapy; calcium carbonate; intraperitoneal; microparticles; peritoneal carcinomatosis; radium-224.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Carbonate / chemistry*
  • Capsules / chemical synthesis*
  • Capsules / pharmacokinetics
  • Capsules / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • Radiotherapy / methods*
  • Radium / administration & dosage
  • Radium / therapeutic use*
  • Thorium / administration & dosage
  • Thorium / therapeutic use*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Capsules
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • thorium X
  • Thorium
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Radium