Tb-161: Novel Radionuclide to be Tested

Early Research on Targeting Single Cancer Cells to Prevent Metastasis

Despite the effectiveness of Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) to prolong survival of those with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), many patients will see their cancer spread a few years later.

To help discover technology capable of more accurately killing individual neuroendocrine cancer cells, NETRF granted a 2018 Petersen Investigator award to Roger Schibli, PhD, Paul Scherrer Institut, Zurich Switzerland. His study will explore the safety of a novel radionuclide for PRRT to reduce risks of recurrence. Schibli will study terbium radionuclides (Tb-161), which have distinct radioactive properties, compared to existing radionuclides, such as lutetium 177 dotatate (Lu-177) or Yttrium-90 (Y-90). According to Schibli, Tb-161’s properties may help to kill single cancer cells, which may be left lingering on the margins of a tumor and then continue to grow, leading to recurrence or metastases.

Testing Tb-161 for neuroendocrine tumors

Tb-161 kills tumor cells at short and long ranges. Schibli’s study evaluates the ability of Tb-161 dotatoc to kill single cancer cells and tiny metastases in a pre-clinical setting before they proceed with the first-in-man study. Schibli’s proof-of-concept clinical testing of Tb-161 is planned to be done in collaboration with Richard Baum, MD, PhD, in Bad Berka, Germany

What is the role of radionuclides in PRRT?

In PRRT, radionuclides are attached to octreotide to create radiopeptides like Y-90 or Lu-177. Radiopeptides differ in the type of radiation they emit as well as the depth of tissue into which they penetrate. Tissue penetration is an important factor since a certain range of radiation is necessary to kill tumor cells but not damage surrounding, healthy tissues. Learn more about PRRT https://netrf.org/peptide-receptor-radionuclide-therapy-prrt/

Schibli’s study is made possible by a generous gift from the Margie and Robert E Petersen Foundation. If would like to support research like this donate here.  To explore named research awards, contact us at info@netrf.org.

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2 years ago

Well, I guess I’ll post the same curiosity I have that I’m posting over @ Inspire. The basic “stats” on TB-161 (range, half-life, power…) to me look more like LU-177 than not. So it’s not entirely clear how TB-161 is potentially so different. Cheers & thx.

2 years ago
Reply to  Donna Dubuc

Thank you. So I bit the bullet and tried to figure out what the significance of auger electrons is. This layman concludes that it is a different kind of emission, an electron, that has good energy and very short range (so minimizing collateral damage). Goes beyond the beta particles we typically associate with 177Lu PRRT (and 161Tb has as well in parity). 161Tb has the bonus of many more auger electrons.