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Lesson 16. Nuclear Medicine. What is Nuclear Medicine?. Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease using small amounts of radio-nuclides (radiopharmaceuticals)

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lesson 16

Lesson 16

Nuclear Medicine

what is nuclear medicine
What is Nuclear Medicine?
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease using small amounts of radio-nuclides (radiopharmaceuticals)
  • In diagnosis (imaging) emitted radiation is detected by special detectors (cameras) from injected radio-nuclides to give real time 3 D images of the body.
  • In treatment, radio-nuclides are injected into the body, concentrated in the organ of choice and damage the tissue.
importance of nuclear medicine to students
Importance of Nuclear Medicine to students
  • Combines nuclear and radiochemistry, pharmacy, medicine, and radiation biology.
  • Nuclear medicine is a major employer of today’s nuclear and radiochemists, with an ever increasing demand for trained people.
  • Six figure starting salaries
special properties of 99 tc m
Special properties of 99Tcm
  • 142.7 keV gamma ray just perfect for imaging
  • 6 hour t1/2 minimizes radiation dose yet is tractable for hospital procedures
  • 10 million procedures per year in the US
details and problems
Details and Problems
  • Currently AECL/MDS Nordion supply 40% of the world’s demand for 99Mo/99Tc.
  • Chemistry is performed on the irradiated targets by AECL resulting in a 99Mo soln.
  • The solnis shipped to MDS Nordion where it is loaded on the column and distributed.
  • The US demand requires about 34,000-46,000 Ci are produced per week.
what is the crisis
What is the Crisis?
  • These old reactors are nearing the end of their lifetime and their operation is not reliable.
  • Recently the Canadian and Dutch reactors underwent prolonged shutdowns
  • US use of 99Mo was curtailed and rationed.
  • President Obama gave orders to Steven Chu (Sec. of Energy) to “solve the problem.”
special problems for the us
Special Problems for the US
  • We have no domestic supply of 99Mo. US production was stopped in 1989. (It was claimed that non-US suppliers were subsidized and we could not compete.)
  • High cost production facilities, risk of reactor operations, low market price
  • The best techniques involve the use of HEU (19.7 % 235U) which poses a national security problem.
  • The waste from the production is significant.
positron emission tomography pet
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • PET imaging provides quantitative information about biochemical and physiological processes, in vivo
  • A tracer containing a positron emitter is injected, it decays emitting positrons and one detects the two 0.511 MeV photons resulting from the annihilation of the positron-electron interaction.
special things you can do with pet
Special things you can do with PET
  • Real time imaging of brain functions. Effect of drugs, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatry.
  • 90% of use in oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Oldest aspect of nuclear medicine
  • Idea is to use radiation to kill unhealthy cells
  • Problem is to do this without killing all the healthy cells.
  • A problem is that cancer cells are less oxygenated than normal cells and are more radiation resistant.
  • One trick is physical location, ie, fix the radionuclide in a cancer cell so that the decay will preferentially damage the cancer cell.
  • BNCT (Boron neutron cancer therapy)
  • Attach boron compounds to tumor locations.
  • Boron has a very high thermal neutron capture cross section
  • n+10B-> 11B->7Li + 4He
  • Re-oxygenation