Improved procedures for production and purification of 135La from enriched [135Ba]BaCO3 on a 16.5 MeV cyclotron

Kristina Søborg Pedersen, Claire Deville, Ursula Søndergaard, Mikael Jensen, Andreas I. Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Lanthanum-135 (135La) is a favorable Auger electron emitter with a high Auger electron yield and low gamma emission, making it promising for Auger electron radiotherapy. However, successful application requires reliable and scalable 135La production. Up to now, metallic natural barium (natBa) is a commonly used target material, but this material is sensitive to moisture and oxidation. BaCO3 has also been tested, due to its higher chemical stability. However, BaCO3 has poor thermal conductivity, limiting the applicable current and making high yield production challenging. In this study, we pressed a mixture of enriched [135Ba]BaCO3 and fine aluminum (Al) powder to provide a stable target with improved thermal conductivity compared to pure BaCO3. After 4 h of irradiation with a 16.5 MeV proton beam at 20 μA current, 1.62 ± 0.18 GBq was produced from a 200 mg [135Ba]BaCO3:Al (1:2, w/w) target. This corresponded to a saturation yield of 11.91 ± 1.31 GBq (or 596 ± 66 MBq/μA). A purification procedure involving initial precipitation, followed by a single composite column containing a layer of TK200 resin and a second layer of branched DGA resin was developed, with 97.1 ± 3.6 % decay corrected 135La recovery. [135La]LaCl3 was obtained in an effective molar activity of 79.6 ± 25.3 MBq/nmol (DOTA titration), 104.0 ± 40.4 MBq/nmol (DTPA titration) and 186.5 ± 83.8 MBq/nmol (CHX-A″-DTPA titration), and a radionuclidic purity (RNP) of >99.9 % at end of purification, hereby demonstrating a purity suitable for radiopharmaceutical use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110612
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Auger electron radiotherapy
  • Cyclotron target
  • Lanthanum-135
  • Proton irradiation
  • Purification
  • Radiolabeling


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