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Science. 2001 Nov 16;294(5546):1537-40.

Tumor therapy with targeted atomic nanogenerators.

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  • 1Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


A single, high linear energy transfer alpha particle can kill a target cell. We have developed methods to target molecular-sized generators of alpha-emitting isotope cascades to the inside of cancer cells using actinium-225 coupled to internalizing monoclonal antibodies. In vitro, these constructs specifically killed leukemia, lymphoma, breast, ovarian, neuroblastoma, and prostate cancer cells at becquerel (picocurie) levels. Injection of single doses of the constructs at kilobecquerel (nanocurie) levels into mice bearing solid prostate carcinoma or disseminated human lymphoma induced tumor regression and prolonged survival, without toxicity, in a substantial fraction of animals. Nanogenerators targeting a wide variety of cancers may be possible.

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