The prospects of using chelating agents for increasing the excretion of actinides are reviewed. The removal of plutonium by chelating agents is of great importance because plutonium is extremely dangerous and induces cancer due to radiation toxicity. Similarly, uranium is a radionuclide, which causes severe renal dysfunction within a short time period due to chemical toxicity. It may also induce cancers such as leukemia and osteosarcoma in cases of long-term internal radiation exposure. Investigations on chelating agents for the removal of plutonium were initiated in the 1960s and 1970s. Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) is recognized as a chelating agent that accelerates the excretion of plutonium in early treatment after an accident. Thereafter, there has long been an interest in finding new chelating agents with radionuclide removal properties for use in therapy, and many chelating agents such as 3,4,3-LIHOPO and CBMIDA have been studied for their ability to remove plutonium and uranium. Recently, the focus has turned to drugs that have been used successfully in the treatment of a variety of other diseases, for example the iron chelating drug deferiprone or 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one (L1), which is used in thalassaemia and ethane-1-hydroxy-1,1- bisphosphonate (EHBP), which is used in osteoporosis. Within this context, it is important to examine the clinical use of these two drugs as well as the properties of the experimental chelators 3,4,3-LIHOPO and CBMIDA in order to identify possible uses in the treatment of radiation workers contaminated with plutonium and uranium.
plutonium, uranium, dtpa, lihopo, cbmida, deferiprone, l1, ehbp
Research Center for Radiation Emergency Medicine, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Anagawa 4-9-1, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8555 Japan.