PDF 8.3 Medicine | Positron Emission Tomography | Radiation Therapy

A Look at Nuclear Science and Technology

Larry Foulke

Atomic and Nuclear Physics – Radioisotopes 8.3 Medical Use of Radioisotopes

This material includes excerpts from a presentation by Alan Waltar at the World Nuclear University in 2012-2103. Used by permission from World Nuclear Association and Alan Waltar.
NOTE: Dr. Waltar is the author of the book, RADIATION AND MODERN LIFE: Fulfilling Marie Curie's Dream, Prometheus Books, 2005

Numbers of Patients Benefiting from Nuclear Medical Techniques •  Over 18 million/year in the U.S.S. •  Over 30 million/year globally •  1 in 3 patients entering U. hospitals or medical clinics benefit from nuclear medical techniques .

MEDICINE •  Sterilization of Medical Products –  Surgical dressings. catheters. sutures. syringes •  New Drug Testing –  Over 80% of all new drugs tested with radioactive tagging before approval –  Between 200 and 300 radiopharmaceuticals in routine use Image Source: See Note 1 •  Medical Imaging (~90%) –  Diagnose the ailment •  Therapy (~10%) •  Cure the ailment or ease the pain .

Types of Medical Imaging (Diagnostics ~ 90% of nuclear procedures) •  X-ray (teeth. broken bones. mammograms…) .

• A common “chest X-ray” is an example of a radiographic X-ray. Image Source: See Note 2 . • The patient is placed between the two and an image is produced on the film of the area exposed.• Radiography involves the use of an Xray tube and a photographic plate.

Types of Medical Imaging (Diagnostics ~ 90% of nuclear procedures) •  X-ray (teeth. “3D X-ray”) •  Radiotracers • SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) • PET (positron emission tomography) • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) . broken bones. mammograms…) •  CT (Computerized Tomography.

CT Scan Image Source: See Note 3 Image Source: See Note 4 .

Image Source: See Note 5 . • The radionuclide is “attached” to a pharmaceutical. which has the properties to deposit the radioisotope in the organ of concern for a patient.• Radionuclides are used to determine the extent of a medical problem in a patient. • External radiation detectors are used to determine abnormalities in the organ.

of the order of minutes or days. • The signals coming from the ensuing radiation then give a picture of the size and location of the area where the isotope was absorbed. such as iodine or technecium-99m. is injected into the body. • In tracer techniques a radioactive isotope of an element. . • Usually isotopes of a relatively short half-life.• Different parts of the human body absorb different elements but do not discriminate between different isotopes. are used to minimize long-term radiation damage.

emitting two photons. Image Source: See Note 6 . • When this positron encounters an electron they annihilate each other.• PET (positron emission tomography) scans involve the injection into the body of an isotope which decays by positron emission. • The energy and path of these photons leaving the body can then be used to give an accurate picture of the area where the isotope was absorbed.

PET (positron emission tomography) When a pair of detectors detects simultaneously one 511keV photon each. Image Source: See Note 7 . a positron must have annihilated on a straight line connecting those two detectors – the so called line of response. •  The multitude of all these lines of response is used to calculate a slice image in a certain plane.

PET IMAGE OF THE BRAIN o  Slice of the brain of a 56 year old man taken with positron emission tomography (PET). o  Red areas show more accumulated tracer substance and blue areas are regions where low to no tracer have been accumulated Image Source: See Note 8 HSR MILANO . o  Image was generated from a 20 minute measurement with a PET Scanner.

• Information presented as crosssectional slices. • 85% of all nuclear medicine examinations use Mo/Tc Generators for diagnostics of liver. or multiheads slowly rotated around the patient. • Able to provide true 3D information. lungs. Image Source: See Note 9 . bones.• Uses gamma cameras.

• Mo-99 is the most “in demand” medical isotope • Mo-99 is shipped to point of use (66 hrs half life) • its “decay product” Technetium-99m is used as tracer (6-hour half life) • Comes “easily” from a handful of existing. publicly funded nuclear research reactors • Reactors are getting old and are being shut down .

the renal arteries.Magnetic resonance imaging generates pictures of the arteries to evaluate them for abnormal narrowing or vessel wall dilatations. the thoracic and abdominal aorta. MRI technology is often used to evaluate the arteries of the neck and brain. at risk of rupture. and the legs Image Source: See Note 10 .

etc.) •  External –  External Beam Radiation –  Protons –  X-rays •  Internal –  BNCT (boron neutron capture) ~ 10 % of nuclear procedures –  Cell Directed »  Placed inside the body »  Smart bullets – Decrease pain of bone cancer . breast.000 patients/year) – Blood Irradiation – Other Cancer (prostate. brain. liver.Medical Therapy – First applied to Thyroid Cancer (20.

Image Source: See Note 11 .The CyberKnife or Gamma Knife system is a method of delivering radiotherapy. with the intention of targeting treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy.

BRACHYTHERAPY Production and distribution of 125I seeds and 192Ir wires Image Source: See Note 12 Image Source: See Note 13 .

Take Away Points •  •  Nuclear medicine uses radiation to provide diagnostic information about human health. 2004 Image Source: See Note 14 •  •  . Radiotherapy can be used to treat medical conditions. Medical Therapy Using Radiation Technology Now Growing Rapidly Materials based on RADIATION AND MODERN LIFE: Fulfilling Marie Curie’s Dream by Alan Waltar. especially cancer. Prometheus Books. using radiation to weaken or destroy particular targeted cells. and demand for radioisotopes is increasing rapidly. Millions of nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year. Nov.

Image Source Notes 1.wikipedia.jpg 5.  Public domain: http://en.JPG 3.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/ nuregs/brochures/br0217/r1/br0217r1.wikimedia. http://en.jpg 4.wikipedia.com.0 Unported. rosiescancerfund.org/wiki/File:Rosies_ct_scan.0 Unported.nrc.  Public domain: http://www.  Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.org/wiki/File:PET- .pdf 2. http://en.org/wiki/File:CT_ScoutView.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Xraymachine. Thomas Bjorkan.  Public domain: http://commons.  Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.

wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PET-schema.  Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.jpg 9.png 8.wikipedia. Ofirglazer.  Public domain: http://en.org/wiki/File:SPECT_CT.org/wiki/File:ECAT-Exact-HR-PET-Scanner.  Public domain: http://en.Image Source Notes 6. http://en.jpg 7.jpg . Ytrottier.0 Unported. http://en.org/wiki/File:Mra1.wikipedia.wikipedia.JPG 10.  Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PET-image.0 Unported.  Public domain: http://en.

0 Unported.  Public domain: http://en. http://en.  Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.jpg 12.wikipedia.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:Marie_Curie_c1920.jpeg 14.org/wiki/File:Brachytherapy.org/wiki/ File:Gamma_Knife_Graphic.png .  Public domain: http://en.org/wiki/ File:Clinical_applications_of_brachytherapy. Rock mc1.  Public domain: http://en.wikipedia.jpg 13.Image Source Notes 11.wikipedia.

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