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Blood. 2007 Sep 15;110(6):2049-56. Epub 2007 May 29.

Targeted cancer therapy with a novel low-dose rate alpha-emitting radioimmunoconjugate.

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Department of Radiation Biology, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Alpha-emitting radionuclides are highly cytotoxic and are of considerable interest in the treatment of cancer. A particularly interesting approach is in radioimmunotherapy. However, alpha-emitting antibody conjugates have been difficult to exploit clinically due to the short half-life of the radionuclides, low production capability, or limited source materials. We have developed a novel technology based on the low-dose rate alpha-particle-emitting nuclide (227)Th, exemplified here using the monoclonal antibody rituximab. In vitro, this radioimmunoconjugate killed lymphoma cells at Becquerel per milliliter (Bq/mL) levels. A single injection of (227)Th-rituximab induced complete tumor regression in up to 60% of nude mice bearing macroscopic (32-256 mm(3)) human B-lymphoma xenografts at Becquerel per gram (Bq/g) levels without apparent toxicity. Therapy with (227)Th-rituximab was significantly more effective than the control radioimmunoconjugate (227)Th-trastuzumab and the standard beta-emitting radioimmunoconjugate for CD20(+) lymphoma(90)Y-tiuxetan-ibritumomab. Thorium-227 based constructs may provide a novel approach for targeted therapy against a wide variety of cancers.

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