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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.
G. Vayakis, E. R. Hodgson, V. Voitsenya, C. I. Walker
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 53 | Number 2 | February 2008 | Pages 699-750
Technical Paper | Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Fusion Research | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1684
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In this chapter, we consider generic issues affecting the implementation of diagnostics in a burning plasma experiment (BPX). These are, directly or indirectly, caused by the radiation environment. In the first instance, handling nuclear radiation issues becomes a dominant factor in the choice of machine and diagnostic layout, construction, and maintenance. We discuss these integration issues first as they set the background against which more specific issues must be addressed. These include nuclear radiation effects on specific types of components and assemblies such as cables, fibers, and mirrors, and also thermal and mechanical degradation issues that must be considered in all component designs. One important consequence of the maintenance challenges brought about by the radiation environment is that degradation of front-line optical components by particle bombardment, normally handled by component replacement, also becomes far more challenging and in situ mitigation techniques must be sought. For the same reason, recalibration techniques become more difficult. At the same time, BPX operation time is precious and extracting the optimum performance from the device may require the use of more sophisticated diagnostic techniques. Therefore, the requirements on reliability and data availability are more stringent and must be applied more widely than is common on present devices. An important goal of BPX operation is to enable the design of future power plants. We consider briefly the development needs for diagnostics for these and conclude with an assessment of the present state of readiness of the diagnostic community for the detailed design and construction of a full diagnostic set for a BPX.