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Cancer Cell Radiobiological Studies Using In-House-Developed α-Particle Irradiator.

  • Jenny Nilsson
  • Monika Bauden
  • Jonas Nilsson
  • Sven-Erik Strand
  • Jörgen Elgqvist
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 386-394
Publication/Series: Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals
Volume: 30
Issue: 9
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Abstract english

An α-particle irradiator, enabling high-precision irradiation of cells for in vitro studies, has been constructed. The irradiation source was a (241)Am source, on which well inserts containing cancer cells growing in monolayer were placed. The total radioactivity, uniformity, and α-particle spectrum were determined by use of HPGe detector, Gafchromic™ dosimetry film, and PIPS(®) detector measurements, respectively. Monte Carlo simulations were used for dosimetry. Three prostate cancer (LNCaP, DU145, PC3) and three pancreatic cancer (Capan-1, Panc-1, BxPC-3) cell lines were irradiated by α-particles to the absorbed doses 0, 0.5, 1, and 2 Gy. For reference, cells were irradiated using (137)Cs to the absorbed doses 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 Gy. Radiation sensitivity was estimated using a tetrazolium salt-based colorimetric assay with absorbance measurements at 450 nm. The relative biological effectiveness for α-particles relative to γ-irradiation at 37% cell survival for the LNCaP, DU145, PC3, Capan-1, Panc-1, and BxPC-3 cells was 7.9 ± 1.7, 8.0 ± 0.8, 7.0 ± 1.1, 12.5 ± 1.6, 9.4 ± 0.9, and 6.2 ± 0.7, respectively. The results show the feasibility of constructing a desktop α-particle irradiator as well as indicate that both prostate and pancreatic cancers are good candidates for further studies of α-particle radioimmunotherapy.


  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Medical Radiation Physics, Malmö
  • ISSN: 1557-8852
Sven-Erik Strand
E-mail: sven-erik [dot] strand [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Project manager

Systemic Radiation Therapy Group


Professor emeritus

Medical Radiation Physics, Lund