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Radionuclide treatment against small tumors and metastases
Date:6/16/2011

e earth metals. The elements of the rare earths are extremely similar in chemical terms. Moreover, the raw material contains impurities which would not be permissible for a clinical application. It was therefore essential to develop suitable separation methods in order to be able to isolate the desired terbium-161 in as pure a state as possible. Coauthor and TUM colleague Christoph Barkhausen played a crucial role in the development of the separation method. The similarity of the rare earth elements also has an advantage, however: The medical application worked out for Lutetium-177 can also be used for Terbium-161.

A cooperation between Silvia Lehenberger and researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villingen (Switzerland) has already been able to prove the effectiveness of the nuclide on cancer cells in the laboratory. This is only the first step on the road to the final medication, however. It must pass a great many tests before it can be administered to people in hospital.

The researchers produced the Terbium-161 nuclide from Gadolinium-160 by neutron irradiation at the Garching FRM II research neutron source. Terbium-161 is ideal for therapeutic purposes because it has a half-life of only 6.9 days. This has the advantage that, after it has been produced, it can be transported to the clinic where it is to be used without losing much of its activity; it also means that the radiation has already decayed to about one percent of its original value after 50 days.

The work was undertaken as part of a cooperation between Radiochemistry Munich (RCM) at the TUM and the Laboratory for Radiochemistry and Environmental Chemistry and the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Villingen/Switzerland). The Terbium-161 was mainly produced at the neutron source of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen in Garching and additionally at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble and in the neutron source of the Helmholtz Ce
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Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-0510
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert  

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Radionuclide treatment against small tumors and metastases
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