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Targeted conformal radiotherapy of disseminated cancers, using the alpha-particle emitting radionuclides astatine-211, bismuth-213 and actinium-225

Final Report Summary - ALPHA CANCER THERAPY (Targeted conformal radiotherapy of disseminated cancers, using the alpha-particle emitting radionuclides astatine-211, bismuth-213 and actinium-225.)

This Marie Curie action has progressed mainly according to plan. Overall, the deliverables have met or exceeded the aims set out in the application.


As planned, all scientific work was carried out within the Targeted Alpha Therapy, TAT-, Group in Gothenburg, Sweden ( This group is the result of collaborations among departments at the University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and Chalmers University of Technology as well as different external centers such as the PET & Cyclotron Unit at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and the Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The main goal is to develop strategies for the treatment of disseminated cancer using alpha-particle emitters as the leading actor. The research areas covered by the Targeted Alpha Therapy Group include studies of the chemistry related to the labeling of radionuclides to different ligands, studies of pharmacokinetics and different aspects of radiation physics such as radiation dosimetry.

The researcher, Dr Palm, has integrated well in the group and has progressively taken the lead in key aspects of the group's work. The specific aims set out in the proposal were largely met, but, as could be anticipated, some minor shifts in research focus were necessary as time progressed. For instance, the aims set out in specific aim 3 were exceeded as the Alpha Camera device, invented by TAT group member T Bäck, were improved and received increased international attention as an important tool for accurate radiation dosimetry. On the other end, specific aim 1 was only partially met since the alpha-emitters At-211, Ra-223 and Bi-213 were available, but not Ac-225. To have access to 3 out of 4 of these rare radionuclides is, however, an achievement in itself. Again, on the whole, the research aims were largely met.


Dr Palm received hands-on training on imaging and other devices custom-built for evaluating targeted alpha therapy. He has also spent time developing models for relevant biokinetics, and has received practical training on performing complex animal experiments. Supervisory skills were achieved by supervising two M.Sc. thesis students and also by serving as co-supervisor for a Ph.D. student.


The successful career development is best indicated by the host institute granting Dr Palm a permanent position as researcher, beginning immediately after the end of the Marie Curie Action. In addition, Dr Palm has been assigned an international expert for both the World Health Organization, WHO, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA. Several invited lectures were also delivered by him at international conferences and symposia.


Dr Palm has gradually shouldered a larger project management burden. He is today the recepient, as PI, of a competitive financial grant from the Swedish Cancer Society. In addition, he was the co-chair for a pre-congress symposium at the 2014 annual meeting of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine, EANM. This meeting had over 5000 participants from around the world.


(1) One published peer-review article; three submitted articles; one manuscript; two published books; nine accepted conference contributions

(2) Permanent position as researcher received from host institute, beginning immediately

(3) Supervision of 2 M.Sc. thesis students

(4) Supervision of 1 Ph.D. student

(5) Served as co-chair of (5a) European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) pre-congress symposium on Targeted Alpha Therapy and (5b) International Symposium on Targeted Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry (ISTARD) - Radionuclide Therapy & Dosimetry: Alpha-particle Dosimetry

(6) Held assignments as international expert to (6a) the World Health Organization, WHO; (6b) the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA; (6c) the Medical Internal Radiation Dose Committee (MIRD) of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI); and (6d) the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).

With this, all objectives of this Marie Curie Action must be considered met.