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Yttrium-90, 90Y
Namesyttrium-90, Y-90
Protons (Z)39
Neutrons (N)51
Nuclide data
Half-life (t1/2)64.60±0.43 h[1]
Isotopes of yttrium
Complete table of nuclides

Yttrium-90 (90
) is an isotope of yttrium.[2] Yttrium-90 has found a wide range of uses in radiation therapy to treat some forms of cancer.[3]


undergoes β decay to zirconium-90 with a half-life of 64.1 hours[3] and a decay energy of 2.28 MeV with an average beta energy of 0.9336 MeV.[4] It also produces 0.01% 1.7 MeV[5] photons during its decay process to the 0+ state of 90Zr, followed by pair production.[6] The interaction between emitted electrons and matter can lead to the emission of Bremsstrahlung radiation.


Yttrium-90 is produced by the nuclear decay of strontium-90 which has a half-life of nearly 29 years and is a fission product of uranium used in nuclear reactors. As the strontium-90 decays, chemical high-purity separation is used to isolate the yttrium-90 before precipitation.[7][8]

Medical application[edit]

90Y plays a significant role in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), leukemia, and lymphoma, although it has the potential to treat a range of tumors.[9] Trans-arterial radioembolization is a procedure performed by interventional radiologists in which microspheres are impregnated with 90Y and injected into the arteries supplying the tumor.[10] The microspheres become lodged in blood vessels surrounding the tumor and the resulting radiation damages the nearby tissue.[11] Radioembolization with 90Y significantly prolongs time-to-progression (TTP) of HCC,[12] has a tolerable adverse event profile, and improves patient quality of life more than do similar therapies.[13] 90Y has also found uses in tumor diagnosis by imaging the Bremsstrahlung radiation released by the microspheres.[14] Positron emission tomography after radioembolization is also possible.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chetham-Strode A, Kinderman EM (February 1, 1954). "The Half-Life of Yttrium-90". Physical Review. 93 (5): 1029. Bibcode:1954PhRv...93.1029C. doi:10.1103/physrev.93.1029. ISSN 0031-899X.
  2. ^ DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, Weinberg RA, DePinho RA (1 April 2008). DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's cancer: principles & practice of oncology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 2507. ISBN 978-0-7817-7207-5. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Y-90 Handling Precautions" (PDF). Berkeley Lab. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  4. ^ "Live Chart of Nuclides". International Atomic Energy Agency. 2009. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  5. ^ Rault E, Vandenberghe S, Staelens S, Lemahieu T (2009). Optimization of Yttrium-90 Bremsstrahlung Imaging with Monte Carlo Simulations. 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering. Vol. 22. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 500–504. ISBN 9783540892083. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  6. ^ d'Arienzo, Marco (2013). "Emission of β+ Particles Via Internal Pair Production in the 0+ – 0+ Transition of 90Zr: Historical Background and Current Applications in Nuclear Medicine Imaging". Atoms. 1 (1): 2–12. Bibcode:2013Atoms...1....2D. doi:10.3390/atoms1010002.
  7. ^ Chinol M, Hnatowich DJ (September 1987). "Generator-produced yttrium-90 for radioimmunotherapy". Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 28 (9): 1465–70. CiteSeerX PMID 3625298.
  8. ^ "PNNL: Isotope Sciences Program - Yttrium-90 Production". PNNL. February 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  9. ^ Tong AK, Kao YH, Too CW, Chin KF, Ng DC, Chow PK (June 2016). "Yttrium-90 hepatic radioembolization: clinical review and current techniques in interventional radiology and personalized dosimetry". The British Journal of Radiology. 89 (1062): 20150943. doi:10.1259/bjr.20150943. PMC 5258157. PMID 26943239.
  10. ^ Kallini JR, Gabr A, Salem R, Lewandowski RJ (May 2016). "Transarterial Radioembolization with Yttrium-90 for the Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma". Advances in Therapy. 33 (5): 699–714. doi:10.1007/s12325-016-0324-7. PMC 4882351. PMID 27039186.
  11. ^ "Understanding SIR-Spheres Y-90 Resin Microspheres". Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  12. ^ Salem R, Gordon AC, Mouli S, Hickey R, Kallini J, Gabr A, et al. (December 2016). "Y90 Radioembolization Significantly Prolongs Time to Progression Compared With Chemoembolization in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma". Gastroenterology. 151 (6): 1155–1163.e2. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2016.08.029. PMC 5124387. PMID 27575820.
  13. ^ Salem R, Gilbertsen M, Butt Z, Memon K, Vouche M, Hickey R, et al. (October 2013). "Increased quality of life among hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with radioembolization, compared with chemoembolization". Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 11 (10): 1358–1365.e1. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.04.028. PMID 23644386.
  14. ^ Wright CL, Zhang J, Tweedle MF, Knopp MV, Hall NC (2015-04-22). "Theranostic Imaging of Yttrium-90". BioMed Research International. 2015: 481279. doi:10.1155/2015/481279. PMC 4464848. PMID 26106608.
  15. ^ Kao, Y. H.; Steinberg, J. D.; Tay, Y. S.; Lim, G. K.; Yan, J.; Townsend, D. W.; Takano, A.; Burgmans, M. C.; Irani, F. G.; Teo, T. K.; Yeow, T. N.; Gogna, A.; Lo, R. H.; Tay, K. H.; Tan, B. S.; Chow, P. K.; Satchithanantham, S.; Tan, A. E.; Ng, D. C.; Goh, A. S. (2013). "Post-radioembolization yttrium-90 PET/CT - part 1: Diagnostic reporting". EJNMMI Research. 3 (1): 56. doi:10.1186/2191-219X-3-56. PMC 3726297. PMID 23883566.

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