Radiation, Meet Cancer Cell
Nuclear chemist Saed Mirzadeh. Image credit: Carlos Jones, ORNL
Radiation is a double-edged sword.
While ionizing radiation—the kind that knocks electrons off atoms— can cause cancer or even death, it can also save lives. Among other uses, ionizing radiation can destroy cancer cells, giving many sufferers the hope of relief from the painful effects of cancer.
That’s the goal of ORNL’s nuclear medicine program. In particular, these researchers are working to exploit radioisotopes that emit alpha radiation, a type of ionizing radiation that releases a lot of energy in a very small space.