α1-microglobulin (A1M) is an antioxidant found in all vertebrates, including humans. It has enzymatic reductase activity and can scavenge radicals and bind free heme groups. Infused recombinant A1M accumulates in the kidneys and has therefore been successful in protecting kidney injuries in different animal models. In this review, we focus on A1M as a radioprotector of the kidneys during peptide receptor radionuclide/radioligand therapy (PRRT/RLT). Patients with, e.g., neuroendocrine tumors or castration resistant prostate cancer can be treated by administration of radiolabeled small molecules which target and therefore enable the irradiation and killing of cancer cells through specific receptor interaction. The treatment is not curative, and kidney toxicity has been reported as a side effect since the small, radiolabeled substances are retained and excreted through the kidneys. In recent studies, A1M was shown to have radioprotective effects on cell cultures as well as having a similar biodistribution as the somatostatin analogue peptide177Lu-DOTA-TATE after intravenous infusion in mice. Therefore, several animal studies were conducted to investigate the in vivo radioprotective potential of A1M towards kidneys. The results of these studies demonstrated that A1M co-infusion yielded protection against kidney toxicity and improved overall survival in mouse models. Moreover, two different mouse studies reported that A1M did not interfere with tumor treatment itself. Here, we give an overview of radionuclide therapy, the A1M physiology and the results from the radioprotector studies of the protein.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1271
Pages (from-to)1-18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • A1M
  • Dosimetry
  • Kidney protection
  • PSMA
  • Radical scavenger
  • Radionuclide therapy


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