The use of radionuclides in nuclear medicine for diagnostics and therapy has significantly increased over the last decay. As a result, there is an urgent need to explore the usage of new radionuclides and relative innovative production methods. Depending on both half-life and decay emission, these radionuclides can be used for imaging, via positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and for therapy via α, β−, or conversion and /or Auger electron emission. Within each of these categories, there are several radiolanthanides with a variety of tissue ranges and half-lives offering attractive decay properties.
Production of sufficient amounts of high quality radiolanthanides requires systematic research in targetry, irradiation, radiochemistry and quality control. In some cases, it is difficult to produce carrier-free and/or radionuclidically pure products with conventional reactor-based or accelerator-driven production routes. Thus, the use of mass separators to produce carrier-free radionuclides for nuclear medicine is becoming an attractive method. In the frame of PRISMAP WP12, together with eleven universities and research laboratories, scientists are going to investigate the potential of novel radiolanthanides for nuclear medicine applications.
The main tasks of this WP are the development of specific radiochemical separation methods and preclinical research studies for novel radiolanthanides (149Tb, 152Tb, 155Tb, 161Tb, 175Yb, 153Sm, 167Tm, 165Er, 169Er, and 135La). In particular, an assessment of the quality control and radiolabelling processes of these radiolanthanides will be established. This information will be of great interest for developing clinical methods using different Tb radionuclides for theragnostic applications. The produced data will also implement the use of conversion/Auger-electron-emitting radionuclides towards the treatment of disseminated tumor cells and small metastases. Enhanced knowledge of these novel radiolanthanides and exploration of their therapeutic effects will be greatly appreciated by the scientific community of nuclear medicine and will pave the way towards more efficient cancer treatments.