A Research Study : 2.3 ?í -particle Emission Radionuclides

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2.3 β-particle emission radionuclides

Β-particles are high energy electrons which are ejected from the nucleus with a range of energies up to a maximal value.12 β-emitters are heavily researched and are a widely accessible form of radionuclide therapy. The LET of β-emitting particles is high enough to kill cancerous cells, but is considered low compared to α-emitters which have a lot more particles in the higher energy levels. Β-particle emitters deposit their energy over a much larger range (1mm, dependent on energies) compared to that of α-particles and Auger electrons.17 One benefit to this is that less work is needed on carrier molecules, as the distribution of the β- emitter is not as critical for the radionuclide therapy to be successful. β-emitters are the widest used and researched radionuclides as they offer a large range of energies, tissue penetration, half-lives and production methods.18 This means, depending on the type and size of the tumour, the radionuclide can be varied. For example for a large tumour, a β-emitter would be more effective than an α-emitter, as although it has a lower LET, the whole tumour can be targeted rather than a small area. Nuclear reactors are the most common mode of producing β-emitting radionuclides, however charged particle accelerators can also be used. The wide range of radionuclides has in itself become a problem as it often becomes hard to select the most appropriate. Some of the primary β-emitting radionuclides that are

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