Auger electrons for radiotherapy

Auger electrons represent another approach compared to the classical β- radiotherapy.

Auger-electron-emitting isotopes are capable of delivering a high and very localized radiation dose to the target region due to their very short range in biological tissue with a resulting ability to achieve high tumor-to-normal- tissue dose ratios. Auger electrons are emitted by isotopes that decay by electron capture (EC) or have internal conversion (IC) in their decay.

Due to the Auger electrons nature, compounds containing auger emitters must be localised directly to where it should be used. This feature can be utilised to directing the damage to areas where it is needed, leaving rest of the cells undamaged. Another use of Auger electrons is to observe the single decay by radiography and in this manner study the reaction of the auger emitter directly in the cells.

Our investigation is currently based on transition metal auger emitters and antimony (1-2).


  1. Thisgaard H, Jensen M. Production of the Auger emitter 119Sb for targeted radionuclide therapy using a small PET-cyclotron. Appl Radiat Isot. 2009 Jan;67(1):34-8. 2008 Sep 17.
  2. Thisgaard H, Jensen M. 119Sb--a potent Auger emitter for targeted radionuclide therapy. Med Phys. 2008 Sep;35(9):3839-46