alpha particles


Summary: Positively charged particles composed of two protons and two NEUTRONS, i.e. equivalent to HELIUM nuclei, which are emitted during disintegration of heavy ISOTOPES. Alpha rays have very strong ionizing power, but weak penetrability.

Top Publications

  1. Cheetham P, Petrylak D. Alpha particles as radiopharmaceuticals in the treatment of bone metastases: mechanism of action of radium-223 chloride (Alpharadin) and radiation protection. Oncology (Williston Park). 2012;26:330-7, 341 pubmed
    ..The mechanism of action of Alpharadin and specifics of administration, radiation protection, and patient management will be discussed...
  2. Han W, Wu L, Hu B, Zhang L, Chen S, Bao L, et al. The early and initiation processes of radiation-induced bystander effects involved in the induction of DNA double strand breaks in non-irradiated cultures. Br J Radiol. 2007;80 Spec No 1:S7-12 pubmed
    ..might be involved in these processes. ..
  3. Chouin N, Bernardeau K, Davodeau F, Cherel M, Faivre Chauvet A, Bourgeois M, et al. Evidence of extranuclear cell sensitivity to alpha-particle radiation using a microdosimetric model. I. Presentation and validation of a microdosimetric model. Radiat Res. 2009;171:657-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Good agreements were also observed with previously published results. ..
  4. Yum E, Li V, Choi V, Cheng S, Yu K. Effects of alpha particles on zebrafish embryos. Appl Radiat Isot. 2010;68:714-7 pubmed publisher
    Dechorionated zebrafish embryos were irradiated at 1.5 h post fertilization (hpf) to low-doses of alpha particles, viz., 1.4, 2.8, 5.6, 11.2 mGy (determined using Monte Carlo simulations)...
  5. Allen B, Raja C, Rizvi S, Song E, Graham P. Tumour anti-vascular alpha therapy: a mechanism for the regression of solid tumours in metastatic cancer. Phys Med Biol. 2007;52:L15-9 pubmed
    ..This effect depends on the expression of targeted receptors by capillary pericytes and contiguous cancer cells, and on the short-range and high-energy transfer of alpha radiation. ..
  6. Leatherbarrow E, Harper J, Cucinotta F, O Neill P. Induction and quantification of gamma-H2AX foci following low and high LET-irradiation. Int J Radiat Biol. 2006;82:111-8 pubmed
    ..Gamma-radiation and alpha-radiation induced the phosphorylation of H2AX in response to DSB at low doses; the variation in the rate of dephosphorylation of induced foci are dependent both on radiation quality and cell characteristics. ..
  7. Karagiannis T. Comparison of different classes of radionuclides for potential use in radioimmunotherapy. Hell J Nucl Med. 2007;10:82-8 pubmed
    ..The aim of this article is to discuss the different classes of radionuclides with potential for clinical use in radioimmunotherapy. ..
  8. Bryan R, Huang X, Morgenstern A, Bruchertseifer F, Casadevall A, Dadachova E. Radiofungicidal effects of external gamma radiation and antibody-targeted beta and alpha radiation on Cryptococcus neoformans. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008;52:2232-5 pubmed publisher
    ..binding) of Cryptococcus neoformans cells subjected to gamma rays from an external source, and beta and alpha particles delivered to fungal cells by capsule-specific antibody...
  9. Sgouros G. Alpha-particles for targeted therapy. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008;60:1402-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Results from the small number of clinical trials reported to date have shown efficacy without significant toxicity. ..

More Information


  1. Andersson H, Cederkrantz E, Bäck T, Divgi C, Elgqvist J, Himmelman J, et al. Intraperitoneal alpha-particle radioimmunotherapy of ovarian cancer patients: pharmacokinetics and dosimetry of (211)At-MX35 F(ab')2--a phase I study. J Nucl Med. 2009;50:1153-60 pubmed publisher
    ..This study indicates that by intraperitoneal administration of (211)At-MX35 F(ab')(2) it is possible to achieve therapeutic absorbed doses in microscopic tumor clusters without significant toxicity. ..
  2. Hanot M, Hoarau J, Carriere M, Angulo J, Khodja H. Membrane-dependent bystander effect contributes to amplification of the response to alpha-particle irradiation in targeted and nontargeted cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009;75:1247-53 pubmed publisher
    ..A complex interaction of direct irradiation and bystander signals leads to a membrane-dependent amplification of cell responses that could influence therapeutic outcomes in tissues exposed to low doses or to environmental exposure. ..
  3. Rosenblat T, McDevitt M, Mulford D, Pandit Taskar N, Divgi C, Panageas K, et al. Sequential cytarabine and alpha-particle immunotherapy with bismuth-213-lintuzumab (HuM195) for acute myeloid leukemia. Clin Cancer Res. 2010;16:5303-11 pubmed publisher
    ..This phase I/II trial was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and antileukemic effects of (213)Bi-lintuzumab, the first targeted ?-emitter, after partially cytoreductive chemotherapy...
  4. Beaton L, Burn T, Stocki T, Chauhan V, Wilkins R. Development and characterization of an in vitro alpha radiation exposure system. Phys Med Biol. 2011;56:3645-58 pubmed publisher
    ..steel discs with activities averaging 66 kBq and Mylar-based culture dishes to allow the transmission of alpha particles. The dosimetry of the exposure system was calculated using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation toolkit with the ..
  5. Kim Y, Brechbiel M. An overview of targeted alpha therapy. Tumour Biol. 2012;33:573-90 pubmed publisher
    The effectiveness of targeted ?-therapy (TAT) can be explained by the properties of ?-particles. Alpha particles are helium nuclei and are ~8,000 times larger than ?(-)-particles (electrons)...
  6. Huang C, Oborn B, Guatelli S, Allen B. Monte Carlo calculation of the maximum therapeutic gain of tumor antivascular alpha therapy. Med Phys. 2012;39:1282-8 pubmed publisher
    ..8 cGy. These data give a maximum therapeutic gain of about 180 and validate the TAVAT concept. TAVAT can deliver a cytotoxic dose to tumor capillaries without being toxic to normal tissue capillaries. ..
  7. Morgenstern A, Bruchertseifer F, Apostolidis C. Bismuth-213 and actinium-225 -- generator performance and evolving therapeutic applications of two generator-derived alpha-emitting radioisotopes. Curr Radiopharm. 2012;5:221-7 pubmed
    ..Selected preclinical studies are highlighted and the current clinical experience with (225)Ac and (213)Bi is summarized...
  8. Turtoi A, Brown I, Schlager M, Schneeweiss F. Gene expression profile of human lymphocytes exposed to (211)At alpha particles. Radiat Res. 2010;174:125-36 pubmed publisher
    ..78 MeV mean energy alpha particles from extracellular (211)At. Lymphocytes were exposed to fluences of 0.3-9...
  9. Loucas B, Durante M, Bailey S, Cornforth M. Chromosome damage in human cells by ? rays, ? particles and heavy ions: track interactions in basic dose-response relationships. Radiat Res. 2013;179:9-20 pubmed publisher
    ..While such track interaction had been previously theorized, to the best of our knowledge, it has never been demonstrated experimentally...
  10. Pfost B, Seidl C, Autenrieth M, Saur D, Bruchertseifer F, Morgenstern A, et al. Intravesical alpha-radioimmunotherapy with 213Bi-anti-EGFR-mAb defeats human bladder carcinoma in xenografted nude mice. J Nucl Med. 2009;50:1700-8 pubmed publisher
  11. Seideman J, Stancevic B, Rotolo J, McDevitt M, Howell R, Kolesnick R, et al. Alpha particles induce apoptosis through the sphingomyelin pathway. Radiat Res. 2011;176:434-46 pubmed
    ..These data indicate that ? particles can activate the sphingomyelin pathway to induce apoptosis...
  12. Allen B. Clinical trials of targeted alpha therapy for cancer. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2008;3:185-91 pubmed
    ..Results of past and current trials are reviewed, and the bases of some proposed trials are presented. ..
  13. Alloni D, Campa A, Friedland W, Mariotti L, Ottolenghi A. Track structure, radiation quality and initial radiobiological events: considerations based on the PARTRAC code experience. Int J Radiat Biol. 2012;88:77-86 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover the cluster properties of high LET radiation may determine specific initial targets and damage evolution. ..
  14. Nagasawa H, Wilson P, Chen D, Thompson L, Bedford J, Little J. Low doses of alpha particles do not induce sister chromatid exchanges in bystander Chinese hamster cells defective in homologous recombination. DNA Repair (Amst). 2008;7:515-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, when irradiated with very low doses of alpha particles, SCEs were not induced in irs3 cells, as compared to a prominent bystander effect observed in V79 cells [H...
  15. Barberet P, Vianna F, Karamitros M, Brun T, Gordillo N, Moretto P, et al. Monte-Carlo dosimetry on a realistic cell monolayer geometry exposed to alpha particles. Phys Med Biol. 2012;57:2189-207 pubmed publisher
    ..The methodology presented in this paper provides microdosimetric quantities calculated from realistic cellular volumes. It is based on open-source oriented software that is publicly available. ..
  16. Staaf E, Brehwens K, Haghdoost S, Nievaart S, Pachnerová Brabcová K, Czub J, et al. Micronuclei in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to mixed beams of X-rays and alpha particles. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2012;51:283-93 pubmed publisher
    ..was to analyse the cytogenetic effect of exposing human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to a mixed beam of alpha particles and X-rays...
  17. Anderson R, Stevens D, Sumption N, Townsend K, Goodhead D, Hill M. Effect of linear energy transfer (LET) on the complexity of alpha-particle-induced chromosome aberrations in human CD34+ cells. Radiat Res. 2007;167:541-50 pubmed
    The aim of this study was to assess the relative influence of the linear energy transfer (LET) of alpha particles on the complexity of chromosome aberrations in the absence of significant other differences in track structure...
  18. Gault N, Rigaud O, Poncy J, Lefaix J. Biochemical alterations in human cells irradiated with alpha particles delivered by macro- or microbeams. Radiat Res. 2007;167:551-62 pubmed
    ..irradiation and compared biochemical changes and DNA damage after targeted and nontargeted irradiation with alpha particles delivered by macro- or microbeams, using gamma radiation as a reference...
  19. Bruland Ø, Nilsson S, Fisher D, Larsen R. High-linear energy transfer irradiation targeted to skeletal metastases by the alpha-emitter 223Ra: adjuvant or alternative to conventional modalities?. Clin Cancer Res. 2006;12:6250s-6257s pubmed
    ..Lastly, we present preliminary dose estimates for 223Ra in humans. Results indicate that repeated dosing is feasible and toxicity is low, and that opportunities are available for combined treatment strategies...
  20. Roeske J, McDevitt M, Palm S, Allen B, Song H, Akabani G, et al. MIRD Pamphlet No. 22 (abridged): radiobiology and dosimetry of alpha-particle emitters for targeted radionuclide therapy. J Nucl Med. 2010;51:311-28 pubmed publisher
    ..The objective of this work is to review those aspects of the field that are pertinent to targeted alpha-particle emitter therapy and to provide guidance and recommendations for human alpha-particle emitter dosimetry...
  21. Cordier D, Forrer F, Bruchertseifer F, Morgenstern A, Apostolidis C, Good S, et al. Targeted alpha-radionuclide therapy of functionally critically located gliomas with 213Bi-DOTA-[Thi8,Met(O2)11]-substance P: a pilot trial. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2010;37:1335-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Primarily non-operable gliomas may become resectable with this treatment, thereby possibly improving the prognosis. ..
  22. Chauhan V, Howland M, Wilkins R. A comparitive assessement of cytokine expression in human-derived cell lines exposed to alpha particles and X-rays. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:609295 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that certain proinflammatory cytokines may be involved in the biological effects related to ?- particle exposure and the responses are cell type and radiation type specific. ..
  23. Roudkenar M, Li L, Baba T, Kuwahara Y, Nakagawa H, Wang L, et al. Gene expression profiles in mouse liver cells after exposure to different types of radiation. J Radiat Res. 2008;49:29-40 pubmed
    ..Anti-inflammatory treatment could be helpful for the prevention and protection of radiation-induced hepatic injury. ..
  24. Zalutsky M, Reardon D, Akabani G, Coleman R, Friedman A, Friedman H, et al. Clinical experience with alpha-particle emitting 211At: treatment of recurrent brain tumor patients with 211At-labeled chimeric antitenascin monoclonal antibody 81C6. J Nucl Med. 2008;49:30-8 pubmed
    ..Specifically, the regional administration of (211)At-ch81C6 is feasible, safe, and associated with a promising antitumor benefit in patients with malignant central nervous system tumors. ..
  25. Franken N, Ten Cate R, Krawczyk P, Stap J, Haveman J, Aten J, et al. Comparison of RBE values of high-LET ?-particles for the induction of DNA-DSBs, chromosome aberrations and cell reproductive death. Radiat Oncol. 2011;6:64 pubmed publisher
    ..This suggests that assays of these aberrations might yield relevant information on the biological effectiveness in high-LET radiotherapy. ..
  26. Stap J, Krawczyk P, van Oven C, Barendsen G, Essers J, Kanaar R, et al. Induction of linear tracks of DNA double-strand breaks by alpha-particle irradiation of cells. Nat Methods. 2008;5:261-6 pubmed publisher
    ..of easily recognizable linear arrays of DSBs in nuclei of adherent eukaryotic cells by exposing the cells to alpha particles from a small Americium source (Box 1)...
  27. Zhou H, Ivanov V, Lien Y, Davidson M, Hei T. Mitochondrial function and nuclear factor-kappaB-mediated signaling in radiation-induced bystander effects. Cancer Res. 2008;68:2233-40 pubmed publisher
  28. Rössler U, Hornhardt S, Seidl C, Müller Laue E, Walsh L, Panzer W, et al. The sensitivity of the alkaline comet assay in detecting DNA lesions induced by X rays, gamma rays and alpha particles. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2006;122:154-9 pubmed
    ..02 Gy for Am-241 and depicte a higher biological effectiveness. These results indicate that differences in biological effects arise through downstream processing of complex DNA damage. ..
  29. Staaf E, Brehwens K, Haghdoost S, Pachnerová Brabcová K, Czub J, Braziewicz J, et al. Characterisation of a setup for mixed beam exposures of cells to 241Am alpha particles and X-rays. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012;151:570-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The authors have constructed a facility where cells can be simultaneously exposed to (241)Am alpha particles and 190-kV X-rays at 37°C...
  30. Incerti S, Gault N, Habchi C, Lefaix J, Moretto P, Poncy J, et al. A comparison of cellular irradiation techniques with alpha particles using the Geant4 Monte Carlo simulation toolkit. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2006;122:327-9 pubmed
    ..The simulation allows the calculation of hit distributions among the cellular population as well as the absorbed dose for two typical cellular geometries. ..
  31. McDevitt M, Ma D, Lai L, Simon J, Borchardt P, Frank R, et al. Tumor therapy with targeted atomic nanogenerators. Science. 2001;294:1537-40 pubmed
    ..Nanogenerators targeting a wide variety of cancers may be possible...
  32. Curtis S, Luebeck E, Hazelton W, Moolgavkar S. The role of promotion in carcinogenesis from protracted high-LET exposure. Phys Med. 2001;17 Suppl 1:157-60 pubmed suggested that the effect might be caused by a 'Bystander Effect' by which normal cells in the vicinity of initiated cells are hit by alpha particles and send out signals that modify the cell kinetics of the already-initiated clones.
  33. McDevitt M, Scheinberg D. Ac-225 and her daughters: the many faces of Shiva. Cell Death Differ. 2002;9:593-4 pubmed
  34. Prise K, Belyakov O, Folkard M, Michael B. Studies of bystander effects in human fibroblasts using a charged particle microbeam. Int J Radiat Biol. 1998;74:793-8 pubmed
    ..This study provides direct evidence for the production of transmissible, cell-to-cell effects between hit and non-hit cells individually exposed to charged particles. ..
  35. Geard C, Jenkins Baker G, Marino S, Ponnaiya B. Novel approaches with track segment alpha particles and cell co-cultures in studies of bystander effects. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2002;99:233-6 pubmed
    ..This procedure allows for a defining of the factors responsible for initiating bystander effects and for determining their quantitative relevance. ..
  36. Zhou H, Ivanov V, Gillespie J, Geard C, Amundson S, Brenner D, et al. Mechanism of radiation-induced bystander effect: role of the cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:14641-6 pubmed
    ..These results provide evidence that the COX-2-related pathway, which is essential in mediating cellular inflammatory response, is the critical signaling link for the bystander phenomenon. ..
  37. Azzam E, De Toledo S, Little J. Expression of CONNEXIN43 is highly sensitive to ionizing radiation and other environmental stresses. Cancer Res. 2003;63:7128-35 pubmed
    ..In contrast, the response after UV radiation varied and was cell type-dependent. Overall, these data suggest a critical role for genes involved in intercellular communication in mediating the cellular responses to a variety of stresses. ..
  38. Jenner T, deLara C, O NEILL P, Stevens D. Induction and rejoining of DNA double-strand breaks in V79-4 mammalian cells following gamma- and alpha-irradiation. Int J Radiat Biol. 1993;64:265-73 pubmed
    ..It is inferred that the difference in repair of the various lesions is a reflection of the differences in the complexity of the clustered damage produced by these radiations. ..
  39. Allen B, Raja C, Rizvi S, Li Y, Tsui W, Graham P, et al. Intralesional targeted alpha therapy for metastatic melanoma. Cancer Biol Ther. 2005;4:1318-24 pubmed
    ..This paper reports the development and application of intralesional targeted alpha therapy (TAT) for melanoma, being the first part of a program to establish a new systemic therapy...
  40. Jaggi J, Kappel B, McDevitt M, Sgouros G, Flombaum C, Cabassa C, et al. Efforts to control the errant products of a targeted in vivo generator. Cancer Res. 2005;65:4888-95 pubmed
    ..0001). Metal chelation, diuresis with furosemide or chlorothiazide, and competitive metal blockade may be used as adjuvant therapies to modify the renal accumulation of 225Ac daughters...
  41. Vandenbulcke K, Thierens H, Offner F, Janssens A, de Gelder V, Bacher K, et al. Importance of receptor density in alpha radioimmunotherapy in B cell malignancies: an in-vitro study. Nucl Med Commun. 2004;25:1131-6 pubmed
    ..These data are in favour of alpha-RIT in SLVL patients. ..
  42. Kennel S, Mirzadeh S, Eckelman W, Waldmann T, Garmestani K, Yordanov A, et al. Vascular-targeted radioimmunotherapy with the alpha-particle emitter 211At. Radiat Res. 2002;157:633-41 pubmed
    ..Work in this model system demonstrates that vascular targeting of alpha-particle emitters is an efficient therapy for small perivascular tumors and may be applicable to human disease when specific targeting agents are identified...
  43. Ponnaiya B, Jenkins Baker G, Bigelow A, Marino S, Geard C. Detection of chromosomal instability in alpha-irradiated and bystander human fibroblasts. Mutat Res. 2004;568:41-8 pubmed
    ..The results presented here support the link between the radiation-induced phenomena of genomic instability and the bystander effect. ..
  44. Cornforth M, Bailey S, Goodwin E. Dose responses for chromosome aberrations produced in noncycling primary human fibroblasts by alpha particles, and by gamma rays delivered at sublimiting low dose rates. Radiat Res. 2002;158:43-53 pubmed
    ..Exposure to (238)Pu alpha particles also produced a linear dose response for total aberrations, whose slope-with respect to (137)Cs gamma rays as ..
  45. Jurcic J, Larson S, Sgouros G, McDevitt M, Finn R, Divgi C, et al. Targeted alpha particle immunotherapy for myeloid leukemia. Blood. 2002;100:1233-9 pubmed
    ..This study demonstrates the safety, feasibility, and antileukemic effects of (213)Bi-HuM195, and it is the first proof-of-concept for systemic targeted alpha particle immunotherapy in humans...
  46. Ballangrud A, Yang W, Palm S, Enmon R, Borchardt P, Pellegrini V, et al. Alpha-particle emitting atomic generator (Actinium-225)-labeled trastuzumab (herceptin) targeting of breast cancer spheroids: efficacy versus HER2/neu expression. Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10:4489-97 pubmed
    ..225)Ac has a 10-day half-life and a decay scheme yielding four alpha-particles...
  47. Zhou H, Suzuki M, Randers Pehrson G, Vannais D, Chen G, Trosko J, et al. Radiation risk to low fluences of alpha particles may be greater than we thought. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001;98:14410-5 pubmed
  48. Jaggi J, Seshan S, McDevitt M, LaPerle K, Sgouros G, Scheinberg D. Renal tubulointerstitial changes after internal irradiation with alpha-particle-emitting actinium daughters. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005;16:2677-89 pubmed
    ..These findings are dissimilar to those seen after gamma or beta irradiation of kidneys...
  49. Sumption N, Goodhead D, Anderson R. No increase in radiation-induced chromosome aberration complexity detected by m-FISH after culture in the presence of 5'-bromodeoxyuridine. Mutat Res. 2006;594:30-8 pubmed
  50. Yao Z, Garmestani K, Wong K, Park L, Dadachova E, Yordanov A, et al. Comparative cellular catabolism and retention of astatine-, bismuth-, and lead-radiolabeled internalizing monoclonal antibody. J Nucl Med. 2001;42:1538-44 pubmed
    ..The fate of these radionuclides after cells are targeted with mAbs is important in terms of dosimetry and tumor detection...
  51. Bouffler S, Haines J, Edwards A, Harrison J, Cox R. Lack of detectable transmissible chromosomal instability after in vivo or in vitro exposure of mouse bone marrow cells to 224Ra alpha particles. Radiat Res. 2001;155:345-52 pubmed
    ..These findings emphasize the sensitivity of murine hemopoietic tissue to experimental manipulation and reinforce the importance of appropriate concurrent control experiments in any investigation of transmissible genomic instability. ..
  52. Hei T, Wu L, Liu S, Vannais D, Waldren C, Randers Pehrson G. Mutagenic effects of a single and an exact number of alpha particles in mammalian cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997;94:3765-70 pubmed
    ..spectrum of S1- mutants induced in human-hamster hybrid (A(L)) cells by either a single or an exact number of alpha particles. Exponentially growing cells were stained briefly with a nontoxic concentration of Hoechst dye for image ..
  53. Nagasawa H, Little J. Bystander effect for chromosomal aberrations induced in wild-type and repair deficient CHO cells by low fluences of alpha particles. Mutat Res. 2002;508:121-9 pubmed
    We have previously shown that when confluent cultures of mammalian cells are exposed to very low fluences of alpha particles, fluences whereby as few as 1% of the cell nuclei are traversed by a single particle, genetic effects including ..