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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.
Guido Van Oost
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 53 | Number 2 | February 2008 | Pages 387-397
Technical Paper | Diagnostics | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1724
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
During the last fifteen years it became increasingly clear that boundary plasmas play a major role in magnetic fusion experiments, and strongly relate to and even dominate central plasma processes. On the one hand, the conditions of the boundary plasma are crucial to obtain high fusion triple products; on the other hand, plasmasurface interactions, a sufficiently low impurity concentration in the fusion volume, heat removal and helium exhaust which directly relate to the boundary plasma, have emerged as equally important goals, and even more difficult to reach in the state of self-sustained thermonuclear burn. Successful resolution of these issues is critical to establish the viability of the tokamak confinement concept as a fusion power reactor.