This approach results in an increased cytotoxic potential toward cancer cells while limiting toxicity to nearby healthy cells thanks to the short range of alpha emission in tissues (a few cells). Alpha decay consists of the emission of a helium nucleus (alpha particle).
This very specific mechanism of action at the cellular level is different from those used in other types of therapies, which do not allow cell resistance mechanisms or immune escape.
The high lineic energy transfer of this particle will provoke irreparable DNA double strand breaks to surrounding cells. As a result, alpha emitters are considered as the most powerful payloads to be found for drug conjugates with fewer than five particles needed to kill a cell versus hundreds of beta emitting isotopes or thousands of toxins.
Another advantage of TAT is that it does not require internalization of vectors.
Finally, alpha emitters can be combined with a wide range of targeting vectors, thereby vastly increasing the potential range of TAT applications.