Developing a metrological network to help implement targeted alpha therapy across European health institutes
In Europe, cancer incidence is estimated to increase by 21% by 2040, and developing more efficient cancer treatment methods can help to combat the increased health care burden.
Targeted alpha therapy (TAT) is a novel cancer treatment method utilising radioactive substances that undergo alpha decay. Alpha particle emitters deposit their energy within a short radius, ensuring that TAT can selectively target cancerous cells and minimise damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The deposited energy from the radioactive decay can cause a double strand break of the DNA helix, which results in death of the targeted cell. TAT can be used to treat a variety of cancers and clinical trials have shown promising results.
However, there are several measurement challenges that prevent the safe administration of TAT, such as the lack of validated standards and in-vivo distribution of the absorbed dose.
This project aims to generate the metrological network needed for safe TAT administration to help implement TAT for cancer treatment in health care institutes across Europe.
The objectives include the development of primary and secondary radioactivity standards for alpha emitters, accurate dosimetry calculations and activity quantification methods. Additionally, a new imaging bone marrow phantom will be designed that increases the accuracy of bone marrow density measurements by using tissue mimicking materials and multi-modality imaging methods.
These advancements will help generate the metrological network needed for efficient and safe TAT administration, improve comparability between clinical trials, and open up new routes for the treatment of cancers.