Logistical, technical, and radiation safety aspects of establishing a radiopharmaceutical therapy program: A case in Lutetium-177 prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) therapy

J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2023 Apr;24(4):e13899. doi: 10.1002/acm2.13899. Epub 2023 Jan 13.


Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a cell surface protein highly expressed in nearly all prostate cancers, with restricted expression in some normal tissues. The differential expression of PSMA from tumor to non-tumor tissue has resulted in the investigation of numerous targeting strategies for therapy of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. In March of 2022, the FDA granted approval for the use of lutetium-177 PSMA-617 (Lu-177-PSMA-617) for patients with PSMA-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have been treated with androgen receptor pathway inhibition and taxane-based chemotherapy. Therefore, the use of Lu-177-PSMA-617 is expected to increase and become more widespread. Herein, we describe logistical, technical, and radiation safety considerations for implementing a radiopharmaceutical therapy program, with particular focus on the development of operating procedures for therapeutic administrations. Major steps for a center in the U.S. to implement a new radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) program are listed below, and then demonstrated in greater detail via examples for Lu-177-PSMA-617 therapy.

Keywords: QA/QC; commissioning; radiopharmaceutical therapy; safety.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lutetium / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant* / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant* / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant* / radiotherapy
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Lutetium-177
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Lutetium