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Home > News > PNNL scientists take on cancer with isotopes

August 31st, 2010

PNNL scientists take on cancer with isotopes

Abstract:
Researchers worldwide have access to promising and newly available medical isotopes to advance cancer treatment thanks to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Both isotopes, thorium 227 and radium 223, emit alpha radiation, which holds promise to treat cancer that has spread from the main tumor. The high energy released by the alpha particles, with their short range and short half-life, can destroy cancerous cells with minimal damage to healthy tissue.

But nanoscience may yield newer and better ways to deliver medical isotopes such as radium 223 and thorium 227, Fisher believes. One or two dozen atoms could be placed inside nanoparticles that would link up to cancer cells.

"It's the difference between a bus and a motorcycle," he said.

Instead of linking up individual isotopes to a tumor, the nanoparticle could deliver many at once, including a mix of isotope types that could include alpha radiation for killing cancer cells and gamma radiation to allow imaging of what's occurring at the tumor.

Source:
tri-cityherald.com

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