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Treating Alzheimer's Disease with Targeted Alpha Therapy

Targeted alpha therapy has gained recognition for the treatment of cancers. The therapeutic efficacy of alpha particles lies in the short range and high linear energy transfer of these ionizing particles. Alpha particles emitted in decay have energies ranging from 4-9 MeV, yet travel micrometer distances through tissues breaking chemical bonds as a result of energy lost to the surrounding tissue. We propose that a similar strategy can be used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Using an analog of [F-18]-flutemetamol , an FDA approved drug for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of Alzheimer’s patients, we propose the attachment of At-211, in lieu of F-18. At-211, a radiohalogen, exhibits a 7-hour half-life and decays via the emission of an alpha particle. We have chemically synthesized sufficient quantities (>50 mg) of a boronic acid precursor and are prepared to generate the astatinated compound.
This project combines the expertise of faculty from the Colleges of Engineering, Science, and the School of Medicine to address the societal problem of Alzheimer’s disease. These distinct backgrounds are needed to help address this problem and will encourage partnerships throughout the university. This project will cultivate new collaborations that would result in the innovation, education and multidisciplinary training of young researchers. If funded, follow-on funding would likely be obtained through the NIH, aiding the long-term viability of the collaboration.


Tara Mastren
College of Engineering
Civil And Environmental Engg
Project Owner

Donna Cross
School of Medicine
Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Andrew Roberts
College of Science

Project Info

Funded Project Amount

Targeted Alpha Therapy, Alzheimer's Disease, Theranostic Agent

Project Status
Funded 2020
Last Updated: 1/23/20