Radiopharmaceutical Properties

Shown in Table 1, the bone palliation radiopharmaceuticals differ considerably in physical half-life, and dose rate (by a factor of 90), the energy of their emission, effective range (by a factor of 40), presence or absence of a gamma emission, mechanism of skeletal retention, and the degree to which the radiopharmaceutical is incorporated on the surface of, or throughout, the bone. With all of these physical and physiological differences between them, it is surprising that there are no unequivocal data that there is any real difference between them in their reported efficacy for reducing the pain of osteoblastic metastases. The few comparative studies in print also show no significant differences in this effect. The reported range of success in pain relief varies widely between authors, even for the same radiopharmaceutical. This fact raises several methodologic issues which must be addressed before considering the data on each radiopharmaceutical.

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