Astatine-211 81C6-mAb: A Breakthrough in Brain Tumour Treatment with Alpha Radiation

Astatine-211 81C6-mAb, a revolutionary radiotherapeutic, uses the chimeric monoclonal antibody 81C6 to target brain cancer cells. This treatment, leveraging the specific binding capabilities of 81C6 to tenascin in brain tumours, has undergone extensive testing, including a significant Phase I study. Results indicate safety and improved survival rates for patients with recurrent malignant brain tumours. Despite its potential, further development has been stalled due to funding limitations.

Introduction to Astatine-211 81C6-mAb

Astatine-211 81C6-mAb represents a significant advancement in the treatment of brain tumours. As a radiotherapeutic, it combines the targeting accuracy of the 81C6 monoclonal antibody with the potent cell-killing ability of alpha particle radiation. This therapy has shown promise in providing a more effective treatment option for patients with brain tumours.

Target and Mechanism: Tenascin

Tenascin, an extracellular matrix protein, is often overexpressed in brain cancer cells, making it an ideal target for therapeutic interventions. The 211At-81C6-mAb specifically binds to tenascin, allowing for targeted delivery of radiation directly to tumour cells, minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

Carrier/Ligand: 81C6 mAb

The 81C6 monoclonal antibody serves as the carrier for the alpha-emitting radionuclide astatine-211 (211At). With its high affinity for tenascin, this chimeric antibody ensures that the radioactive particles are delivered precisely to the tumour site.

Clinical Trials and Results

The clinical application of 211At-81C6-mAb has been explored in a Phase I study involving 18 patients with recurrent malignant brain tumours. These patients were treated with escalating doses of the compound, administered intra-lesionally.

Observations and Outcomes

This initial study demonstrated the safety of 211At-81C6-mAb and showed encouraging results in terms of patient survival. Patients treated with this compound exhibited extended survival rates, ranging from an average of 52 weeks to as much as 3 years, significantly longer than the typical 26 weeks observed in recurrent brain tumour patients.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite the promising outcomes, the development of 211At-81C6-mAb has faced challenges, primarily due to funding constraints. This lack of financial support has hindered further research and clinical trials, leaving the full potential of this innovative treatment unrealised.

The Importance of Continued Research

The case of 211At-81C6-mAb underscores the need for sustained investment in cancer research. With adequate funding, further studies could unlock the full therapeutic potential of this compound, offering hope to many patients with brain tumours.


Astatine-211 81C6-mAb stands as a beacon of innovation in the fight against brain tumours, combining targeted therapy with the powerful effects of alpha radiation. Its initial clinical trials have shown promising results, but the journey to fully realise its potential is still ahead. As the medical community continues to explore and develop such targeted treatments, there remains a critical need for funding and support to carry this promising therapy through its next development stages.

The development of Astatine-211 81C6-mAb is a testament to the ongoing evolution of cancer treatment, emphasising the power of targeted radiotherapeutics in combating complex diseases like brain tumours. The journey of this compound from the laboratory to clinical trials highlights both the promise and the challenges inherent in bringing advanced cancer therapies to patients.

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