An innovative radiopharmaceutical "Astat-211" for treatment of thyroid oncological deseases is being developed in SINP

SINP scientists consider radionuclide 211-At as an advanced anticancer weapon. Scientific team of Professor Oleg Yuminov develops an original innovative radiopharmaceuticals "Astat-211" for treatment of thyroid oncological deseases. It is expected that the drug will be more effective in therapy than traditionally used radiopharmaceuticals based on 131-I and will allow to decrease radiation load on the patients and medical staff.

The question arises: what is the reason for the advantages of radionuclide 211-At? 131-I is a source of β and γ-emission which possess extremely penetrating properties - up to several centimeters in biological tissues. It results in reltively high radiation doses for healthy organs of the patient at relatively low efficiency of cancer cells "destroying".

Radionuclide 211-At decays with emission of high-energy α-particles with path in biological tissues of 50-70 microns which is comparable with several diameters of cells. So if we can deliver the drug to the affected organ preferentially cancer cells will be destroyed. Besides, due to short path of α-particles medical staff and environment will be exposed to the lower radiation.

One more remarkable property of 211-At is its half-life period - 7 hours and 15 minutes, which is essentially shorter than for 131-I (8 days). This fact will also lead to decreasing of radiation load on the staff and patients.

It is also should be marked that α-particles are significantly more effective in cancer cells destroying, than β and γ-emissions of 131-I.

At last during preliminary biological tests conducted by SINP scientists it was found out that being a chemical analog of 131-I 211-At can be also electively accumulated in thyroid and take part in metabolic processes of this organ.

All above mentioned properties of 211-At open up new vistas for using it in the field of thyroid oncological deseases therapy.

211-At is a synthetic radioactive isotope, it does not occur in nature. In SINP scientists produce it by Bi-target irradiation by α-particles. Further radiopharmaceuticals are separated and synthesised by an original method developed in SINP MSU.

Radiopharmaceuticals "Astat-211" is an isotonic solution containing radionuclides 211-At. It is supposed that "Astat-211" will be delivered into a bloodstream. Specific activity, injected to the patient and duration of therapy will be determined during pre-clinical and clinical studies of the drug.

Now SINP scientists conduct pre-clinical studies of radiopharmaceuticals "Astat-211" in order to determine its functional suitability. These results will provide a basis for clinical studies. The research is carried out within the frames of action item "Pre-clinical studies of innovative pharmaceuticals" of the Federal Target Program "Development of pharmaceutical and medical industry of Russian Federation during the period till 2020 and for further perspective" (decree of Russian Federation Government N 91 d.d. February 17, 2011).

We note finally that radionuclide 211-At can be produced in the organizations equipped with appropriate acceleartors, for instance, in the Institutes of Kazakhstan, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Vietnam. SINP scientists consider colleagues from these institutes as potential partners and are ready to share developed medical tehcnologies including possible selling of licenses with them.

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