Supplying High-Quality Cancer-Imaging Isotopes
Image of Zirconium in a shielded cell
Zirconium-89 is a radionuclide that’s just right for cancer tumor imaging. When the isotope is combined with a tumor-seeking molecule, it lasts long enough in the body to find the tumor and to be imaged. Researchers developed a less labor-intensive and more efficient way to chemically process and purify the isotope. They use a low energy cyclotron, a simple target station, and an automated chemical process. The result is high-purity and concentrated zirconium-89. The zirconium from the process is then ready to attach to a tumor-targeting molecule.