Radiolabeling optimization and reduced staff radiation exposure for high-dose 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan (HD-Zevalin)

Stefano Papi, Luigi Martano, Lucia Garaboldi, Annalisa Rossi, Marta Cremonesi, Chiara Maria Grana, Daniele Paolucci, Maddalena Sansovini, Giovanni Paganelli, Marco Chinol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: 90Y-Zevalin labeling may cause severe finger radiation exposure, especially in high-dose protocols (HD-Zevalin), where up to 7.4 GBq could be injected. In this work, we optimized the labeling of HD-Zevalin with special regard to simplicity, speed, safety and radiation protection. Methods: Factors influencing labeling outcome (activity, specific activity, time, final volume, stability) were studied separately. The critical steps of a standard radiolabeling procedure were optimized to reduce finger exposure, developing an alternative labeling procedure and including a different 90Y supplier. Finger doses were monitored by thermoluminescent dosimeters at each fingertip under anti-X gloves, considering both absolute values and values after normalization to 1.48 GBq. Results: Labeling of 90Y-Zevalin was safe and reproducible up to 7.4 GBq with a simple and single-step procedure offering good stability for several hours. Radiolabeling specific activity was found critical, being kept at 740 MBq·mg-1. Radiochemical purity values ≥98% were routinely achieved. The alternative procedure allowed a sensible reduction of finger dose, due to both the different 90Y vial and the handling. Finger exposure was reduced from 6.6±4.3 to 3.1±0.8 mSv/1.48 GBq in the case of the original 90Y vial and from 1.5±0.9 to 0.3±0.1 mSv/1.48 GBq using a shielded 90Y vial. Conclusions: HD-Zevalin can be prepared in a safe and reproducible way, giving high radiochemical purity values, good stability and low finger exposure. This study may improve the safety of nuclear medicine professionals involved in the preparation of Zevalin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Y
  • High-dose Zevalin
  • Radiation protection
  • Radiolabeling
  • Radiopharmacy
  • RIT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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