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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.
S. Krupakar Murali, John F. Santarius, Gerald L. Kulcinski
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 53 | Number 3 | April 2008 | Pages 841-853
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1739
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Recent study of fusion reactions within an inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) device revealed several significant modes of fusion: converged core, beam-target, beam-background, and charge-exchange reactions. In an attempt to understand the fusion product proton measurements in the IEC device, the advanced fuel D-D and D-3He fusion proton energy spectra were analyzed. For D-3He fusion, the beam-target reactions were found to dominate. Hence, the present study focuses on understanding the beam-target reactions and the corresponding proton energy spectra from such sources. This information helps in accurately calculating the proton flux for optimizing medical isotope production and other near-term applications, besides calibration of the proton detectors.A proton detector was used to measure the experimental data and the Monte Carlo stopping power and range in matter (SRIM) simulation code was used to explain the corresponding experimental observations. While the D-D proton spectrum from the IEC device showed combined Doppler and scatter broadening, the D-3He proton spectrum, besides showing the broadening, also shows some interesting characteristics such as a high-energy tail and a detector thickness-dependent energy spectrum. An extended high-energy tail occurs in the observed energy spectrum from the detector because some of the protons go through the wire before being detected, which reduces their total energy. Due to the higher proton stopping power in the detector at somewhat lower energies than the initial 14.7 MeV, these protons thus deposit a larger fraction of their energy and create the high-energy tail. These measurements show that the high-energy tail of the proton energy spectrum should be excluded from the total proton counts for an accurate proton rate measurement.