Study of thulium-167 cyclotron production: a potential medically-relevant radionuclide.

Renaldin, Edoardo; Dellepiane, Gaia; Braccini, Saverio; Sommerhalder, Alexander; Zhang, Hui; van der Meulen, Nicholas P; Eichler, Robert; Talip, Zeynep (2023). Study of thulium-167 cyclotron production: a potential medically-relevant radionuclide. Frontiers in Chemistry, 11(1288588), p. 1288588. Frontiers Media 10.3389/fchem.2023.1288588

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Introduction: Targeted Radionuclide Therapy is used for the treatment of tumors in nuclear medicine, while sparing healthy tissues. Its application to cancer treatment is expanding. In particular, Auger-electron emitters potentially exhibit high efficacy in treating either small metastases or single tumor cells due to their short range in tissue. The aim of this paper is to study the feasibility of a large-scale production of thulium-167, an Auger-electron emitter radionuclide, in view of eventual systematic preclinical studies. Methods: Proton-irradiated enriched erbium-167 and erbium-168 oxides were used to measure the production cross sections of thulium-165, thulium-166, thulium-167, and thulium-168 utilizing an 18-MeV medical cyclotron equipped with a Beam Transport Line (BTL) at the Bern medical cyclotron laboratory. The comparison between the experimental and the TENDL 2021 theoretical cross-section results were in good agreement. Additional experiments were performed to assess the production yields of thulium radioisotopes in the BTL. Thulium-167 production yield was also measured irradiating five different target materials (167 Er 2 O 3, 168 Er 2 O 3, nat Tm 2 O 3, nat Yb 2 O 3, 171 Yb 2 O 3) with proton beams up to 63 MeV at the Injector II cyclotron of Paul Scherrer Institute. Results and Discussion: Our experiments showed that an 8-h irradiation of enriched ytterbium-171 oxide produced about 420 MBq of thulium-167 with a radionuclidic purity of 99.95% after 5 days of cooling time with a proton beam of about 53 MeV. Larger activities of thulium-167 can be achieved using enriched erbium-168 oxide with a 23-MeV proton beam, obtaining about 1 GBq after 8-h irradiation with a radionuclidic purity of 99.5% 5 days post end of bombardment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP)

UniBE Contributor:

Dellepiane, Gaia, Braccini, Saverio


500 Science > 530 Physics




Frontiers Media




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

07 Nov 2023 13:38

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2023 02:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

auger electron cross sections cyclotron proton irradiation radionuclide production thulium-167




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