Targeted and Nontargeted α-Particle Therapies

Michael R. McDevitt, George Sgouros, Stavroula Sofou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


α-Particle irradiation of cancerous tissue is increasingly recognized as a potent therapeutic option. We briefly review the physics, radiobiology, and dosimetry of α-particle emitters, as well as the distinguishing features that make them unique for radiopharmaceutical therapy. We also review the emerging clinical role of α-particle therapy in managing cancer and recent studies on in vitro and preclinical α-particle therapy delivered by antibodies, other small molecules, and nanometer-sized particles. In addition to their unique radiopharmaceutical characteristics, the increased availability and improved radiochemistry of α-particle radionuclides have contributed to the growing recent interest in α-particle radiotherapy. Targeted therapy strategies have presented novel possibilities for the use of α-particles in the treatment of cancer. Clinical experience has already demonstrated the safe and effective use of α-particle emitters as potent tumor-selective drugs for the treatment of leukemia and metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 4 2018


  • actinium-225
  • nanoparticles
  • radioimmunotherapy
  • radium-223
  • targeted therapy
  • α-particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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