Nuclear Medicine


Nuclear medicine is a medical specialaty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most aggressive types of cancer.  The combination of nuclear technology and nuclear medicine provide an innovative approach, known as targeted alpha therapy.


"Targeted alpha therapy shows great potential in the fight against many types of cancer.  In this innovative domain, we see AREVA Med as a key player in the development of new treatments to combat the disease."

Patrick Bourdet, President and CEO of AREVA Med

  • Targeted Alpha Therapy

    AREVA Med's Innovative Approach in the Fight Against Cancer

    Targeted alpha therapy (TAT) works by combining the targeting capabilities of cancer cell-specific biological carriers (e.g., antibodies) with the short-range destroying capabilities of the radioactive isotope 212Pb.  This approach targets and destroys cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells.

  • What is Lead-212?

    Lead-212 (212Pb), a rare radopactove isotope that is part of the thorium-232 decay chain, is currently at the heart of promising research projects in nuclear medicine to develop new treatments against cancer.  This innovative approach is known as targeted alpha therapy (TAT).   AREVA Med has developed new processes to extract and purify 212Pb from a vast supply of thorium resulting from AREVA's mining activities in the 1950s-1970s.  The short half-life of 212Pb makes it ideally suited for patient administration.

    Thorium-232 Decay Chain

  • Research

    AREVA Med Creates New Research Opportunities for Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT)

    A high potential for TAT was established long ago, but scarcity of isotopes was an obstacle to progress.

    Early preclinical studies and clinical trials from the 1980s with targeted alpha therapy showed potential for treating different types of cancer that do not respond to other conventional methods despite the significant efforts made by the global scientific and medical communities.

    Though the effectiveness of 212Pb had been demonstrated, the development of TAT treatments using this isotope encountered setbacks early on due to its scarcity and the technical difficulties of producing high-purity 212Pb.

    Technical and scientific breakthroughs make high-purity 212Pb more widely available to explore further TAT potential.

    AREVA Med's research and development work has made it possible to produce high-purity 212Pb to develop new cancer treatments and increase production capacity.  The AREVA Med team, in collaboration with leading scientists, chemists, and radiochemists, have developed innovative methods for radiolabeling a monoclonal antibody with a radioactive isotope.  As a result, targeted alpha therapy using 212Pb has recently come back to the forefront of medical research.

  • Production

    AREVA is currently constructing a new facility to produce large-scale quantities of high purity 212Pb in Bessines-sur-Gartempe in the Limousin region of France. This one-of-a-kind facility, named after world-renowned oncologist Professor Maurice Tubiana, will be used to industrialize the production of high purity 212Pb to supply AREVA Med with this isotope for development of new radioimmunotherapy anti-cancer treatments.

    Maurice Tubiana: March 25, 1920 - September 24, 2013

    Luc Oursel, CEO of AREVA, pays homage to Maurice Tubiana


    AREVA Med: Ground-breaking ceremony of the Maurice Tubiana Facility

    The AREVA Med Maurice Tubiana Facility has 2 main objectives:
    1. Supply 212Pb to AREVA Med for development of new anti-cancer treatments
    2. Industrialize the production of high purity 212Pb


For more information about AREVA Med, please contact:
Alison Tise
Tel.: + 1 (301) 841-1673