Clinical Best Practices for Radiation Safety During Lutetium-177 Therapy.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Health physics


washington; swedish; Humans; Radioisotopes; Radiation Protection; Lutetium; Nuclear Medicine


IMPORTANCE: 177 Lu therapy as part of theranostic treatment for cancer is expanding but it can be a challenge for sites with limited radiation protection staff to implement the radiation safety program required for therapeutic nuclear medicine.

OBJECTIVE: To increase the adoption of 177 Lu therapy, especially in smaller centers and clinics, by providing a collection of radiation safety best practices and operational experience. To provide a resource for radiation safety officers supporting the implementation of a 177 Lu therapy program.

METHODS: A panel of 11 radiation safety professionals representing sites across Canada and the United States with experience delivering 177 Lu therapy was assembled and discussed their responses to a list of questions focused on the following radiation safety topics: facility layout and design; radiation safety program; and drug management and patient care.

RESULTS: A comprehensive set of best practice guidelines for clinical radiation safety during 177 Lu therapy has been developed based on the collective operational experience of a group of radiation safety professionals. Significant findings included that 177 Lu therapy is often safely administered in unshielded rooms, that staff radiation exposure associated with 177 Lu therapy is minimal relative to other nuclear medicine programs, and that some relatively simple preparation in advance including papering of common surfaces and planning for incontinence can effectively control contamination during therapy.

CONCLUSION: The guidance contained in this paper will assist radiation safety professionals in the implementation of safe, effective 177 Lu therapy programs, even at smaller sites with limited to no experience in therapeutic nuclear medicine.

Clinical Institute