NNL makes breakthrough to address the global shortage of key medical radioisotope for fighting cancer

Scientists at NNL have made a breakthrough for producing Lead-212, a very important medical radioisotope for treating cancer, but which is difficult to produce and therefore in short supply.

Used in an emerging medical treatment known as Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT), Lead-212 labelled targeting molecules destroy cancer cells while minimising damage to healthy parts of the body. TATs have gained traction because they fight cancer while limiting the side effects experienced by patients. Yet the supply of Lead-212, like other key medical radioisotopes, faces a global shortage which constrains their use, with no production route in existence in the UK.

The production process for the UK’s first home-grown supply of Lead-212 has been developed at NNL’s Preston Laboratory. It is currently going through quality assurance and scale-up work. To achieve this, NNL is working closely with clinicians and academics including at Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London and their associated nuclear medicine departments at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust…Read more