Novel radioisotope-based nanomedical approaches

Birgitte Brinkmann Olsen, Helge Thisgaard, Stefan Vogel, Mads Thomassen, Torben A Kruse, David Needham, Jan Mollenhauer, Poul Flemming Høilund-Carlsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Radioisotope therapy of cancer is on the rise applying mainly β-emitting radionuclides. However, due to exposure of healthy tissues, the maximum achievable radiation dose with these is limited. Auger-electron emitters (AEs) represent a promising alternative because of their mode of decay within a short nanometer range. The challenge is that their therapeutic efficacy relies on a close vicinity to DNA. To overcome this and to minimize toxicity, the construction of smart nanomedical devices is required, which ascertain tumor cell targeting with succeeding cellular uptake and nuclear translocation. In this review we describe the potential of AEs with focus on their delivery down to the DNA level and their cellular effects. Reported efforts comprise different tumor-targeting strategies, including the use of antibodies or peptides with nuclear localizing sequences. Recently, attention has shifted to various nanoparticle formats for overcoming delivery problems. To this end, these approaches have mostly been tested in cell lines in vitro applying AEs more suited for imaging than therapy. This defines a demand for nanomedical formulations with documented in vivo activity, using AEs selected for their therapeutic potential to come closer to real clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nanomedicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)181–193
Publication statusPublished - 2. Dec 2013


  • Auger-electron emitters
  • DNA damage
  • nuclear targeting
  • radionuclide therapy
  • tumor targeting


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