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Radium-223

What is Radium-223

Radium-223 is a radioactive isotope of the radium metal with a half-life of 11.4 days, denoted by the symbol Ra-223 or 223Ra. A high energy alpha-emitting radionuclide, it is mainly used in the medical and research field [1]. It can be produced from an actinium-227/thorium-227 generator system through elution 

Radium-223 Decay Chain

It undergoes decay through a series of alpha, beta, and gamma emissions to form a stable isotope of lead (Pb-207).

 

Decay Chain of Radium-223

What are the Uses of Radium-223

It is used as a chemotherapy drug in the form of Ra-223 dichloride, recognized by the brand name Xofigo, to treat severe cases of prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. It is given as an intravenous injection in different doses, depending upon the severity of the condition. Since some properties of Ra are similar to calcium, the targeted cancerous bone cells take up the radioactive isotope and undergo destruction due to the emission of high-energy radiation [3, 4].

According to some recent research, the radioactive isotope of Ra might be effective in the treatment of bone metastases, and breast and thyroid cancer [4].

Does Ra-223 Have Any Harmful Effects

There is no data available citing its dangerous effects. However, when used in radiotherapy for cancer, it could cause some side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased risk of anemia [2].

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22697483
  2. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/radiotherapy/internal/radioactive-liquid-treatment/radium-223
  3. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/radium-223-dichloride.aspx
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5595381/

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