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Fusion Science and Technology
Researchers report fastest purification of astatine-211 needed for targeted cancer therapy
Astatine-211 recovery from bismuth metal using a chromatography system. Unlike bismuth, astatine-211 forms chemical bonds with ketones.
In a recent study, Texas A&M University researchers have described a new process to purify astatine-211, a promising radioactive isotope for targeted cancer treatment. Unlike other elaborate purification methods, their technique can extract astatine-211 from bismuth in minutes rather than hours, which can greatly reduce the time between production and delivery to the patient.
“Astatine-211 is currently under evaluation as a cancer therapeutic in clinical trials. But the problem is that the supply chain for this element is very limited because only a few places worldwide can make it,” said Jonathan Burns, research scientist in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Nuclear Engineering and Science Center. “Texas A&M University is one of a handful of places in the world that can make astatine-211, and we have delineated a rapid astatine-211 separation process that increases the usable quantity of this isotope for research and therapeutic purposes.”
The researchers added that this separation method will bring Texas A&M one step closer to being able to provide astatine-211 for distribution through the Department of Energy’s Isotope Program’s National Isotope Development Center as part of the University Isotope Network.
Details on the chemical reaction to purify astatine-211 are in the journal Separation and Purification Technology.
Kenneth M. Young
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 53 | Number 2 | February 2008 | Pages 281-303
Technical Paper | Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Fusion Research | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1673
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This paper introduces this special issue on plasma diagnostics for magnetic fusion research. Its primary purpose is to relate the measurements of plasma parameters to the physics challenges to be faced on operating and planned devices and also to identify the diagnostic techniques that are used to make these measurements. The specific physics involved in the application of the techniques will be addressed in subsequent chapters. This chapter is biased toward measurements for tokamaks because of their proximity to the burning plasma frontier, and to setting the scene for the development work associated with ITER. Hence, there is some emphasis on measurements for alpha-physics studies and the need for plasma measurements as input to actuators to control the plasma, both to optimize the device performance and to protect the surrounding material. The very different approach to the engineering of diagnostics for a burning plasma is considered, emphasizing the needs for new calibration ideas, reliability and hardness against, and compatibility with, radiation. New ideas take a long time to be converted into "workhorse" sophisticated diagnostics so that investment in new developments is essential for ITER, particularly for the measurement of alpha particles.