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Dipartimento di Fisica

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Isotopi di radio: arma contro tumori metastatici
Speaker Speaker: Dott.ssa Elisa Napoli
Data Evento Giovedì 20 Dicembre 2018, alle ore 16.30 - Aula Seminari - Dipartimento di Fisica
ABSTRACT:
Alpha emitting radionuclides, due to their short penetration depth, are capable of destroying tumors while causing very limited damage to surrounding healthy tissue. In fact, an emitted alpha particle will not travel further than 6 cell diameters ( i.e., 50 µm to 100 µm). Moreover, compared to other radionuclide therapies, their high linear energy transfer (LET) results in a much more effective treatment, since just a few alpha particles through a cell nucleus are sufficient to produce DNA double strand breaks that deter cancer cell self-reparation.
The discovery of radium by Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie in 1898, represents a unique chapter in the history of natural sciences. Ra-226, among all isotopes of radium, has the longest half-life (T 1/2=1600 years) and is also the most abundant isotope in nature, coming from the U-238 family. Other naturally occurring radium isotopes are Ra-228, Ra-224 and Ra-223. In the first third of last century, radium was used extensively in medical practice as it was considered a universal remedy. However, it was later discovered that bone cancer may occur in subjects exposed to Ra-226. Nonetheless, at intermediate dose levels (below 20 Gy to the bone) no significant increase in cancer was observed in humans. Nowadays, there is only one FDA approved α-emitting radiopharmaceutical: Ra-223 ( 223RaCl 2) under the name of Xofigo, distributed by Bayer and is used for treatment of patients with skeletal metastases from prostate cancer.Radium-224 ( 224Ra), with its convenient half-life of 3.6 days, is a future candidate to be used against micro-metastatic disease from ovarian cancer, that will go under clinical trials in Europe in 2019. NIST has begun work to standardize Ra-224 activity, which will be described in this talk.