Molecule of the Month
August 2011
Terbium-161 – A New Radionuclide for Tumor Therapy

161Tb is a new, promising radionuclide for tumor therapy. It is produced by irradiation of 160Gd with neutrons at the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source SINQ at PSI. For radiolabeling reactions 4 mg of 161Tb have to be isolated chemically from 100 mg 160Gd, with a separation factor better than 106! These neighboring lanthanides can be separated using cation exchange chromatography. The separation has to be performed in lead shielded hotcells and with remote control.
The process allows the production of therapeutic amounts of 161Tb in formulation and quality useful for radiopharmaceutical applications.

The work has been performed by Holger Dorrer and Konstantin Zhernosekov in the group of Prof. Andreas Türler.