Separation of nuclear isomers for cancer therapeutic radionuclides based on nuclear decay after-effects

Rupali Bhardwaj, Astrid van der Meer, Satyen Das, M de Bruin, Jorge Gascon, Bert Wolterbeek, Antonia Denkova, Pablo Serra Crespo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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177Lu has sprung as a promising radionuclide for targeted therapy. The low soft tissue penetration of its β− emission results in very efficient energy deposition in small-size tumours. Because of this, 177Lu is used in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours and is also clinically approved for prostate cancer therapy. In this work, we report a separation method that achieves the challenging separation of the physically and chemically identical nuclear isomers, 177mLu and 177Lu. The separation method combines the nuclear after-effects of the nuclear decay, the use of a very stable chemical complex and a chromatographic separation. Based on this separation concept, a new type of radionuclide generator has been devised, in which the parent and the daughter radionuclides are the same elements. The 177mLu/177Lu radionuclide generator provides a new production route for the therapeutic radionuclide 177Lu and can bring significant growth in the research and development of 177Lu based pharmaceuticals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44242
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2017


  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Nuclear chemistry
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


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