Thor Medical  is a producer and supplier of radionuclides, primarily alpha emitters,  for cancer therapy. The production process requires no radiation and provides reliable, low cost supply of sought after α-particles.

The production process is based on a novel technology developed by Thor Medical’s sister company, REEtec. The process combines high efficiency and competitive cost structure with best in class environmentally friendliness.

Radionuclide Therapy

Radionuclide Therapy (RNT) utilizing α-particle emitters is a promising technology for cancer treatment. Certain radionuclide treatments are already in use and several are under development. However, α-radioisotopes are in short supply. Current production schemes are dependent on irradiation which is expensive and complex for commercial scale production. Hence, at present only small volumes are produced. Thor Medical has developed and is piloting a novel, low cost and environmentally benign production technology for α-particle emitters, independent of nuclear reactors and proton accelerators.

Alpha emitters

An alpha particle is essentially a helium atom nucleus and generally carries more energy than gamma or beta radiation, depositing that energy very quickly while passing through tissue. They are highly tissue-destructive but travel only short distances (< 0,1 mm) and are blocked by a thick piece of paper or skin. The dense energy deposition and the short range make it possible to kill cancer cells and leave nearby healthy cells unharmed.

Alpha emitters could potentially provide effective treatment to cancers like leukemia, lymphomas, gliomas, melanoma, peritoneal carcinomatosis and others.

There are only a few α-emitters which can be used for RNT, due to considerations of half-life, purity, conjugation to targeting molecules, radioactive decay products and availability. Thor Medical has chosen to focus on Thorium-228 (Th-228) and Radium-224 (Ra-224) with its decay products Lead-212 (Pb-212) and Bismuth-212 (Bi-212). The variance in half-lives and decay properties between these open multiple possibilities to treat different cancers at different stages.

Cooperation with IFE

In developing the production technology and pilot the process, Thor Medical is cooperating with the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) where Senior Scientist Sindre Hassfjell, is heading the team of researchers working with Thor Medical. IFE is an independent foundation and one of the world’s foremost research communities on energy and materials, located at Kjeller just outside Oslo.

For more information, contact Jørgen Dale, jorgen.dale(at)scatec.no.