Navigation Links
Radioactive 'understudy' may aid medical imaging, drug development
Date:1/9/2008

Broadway stars have understudies. Now, an increasingly popular radioactive isotope has its own stand-in. Developed in part by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the substance might ultimately improve medical imaging, speed up clinical trials of many drugs and facilitate efforts to develop more individualized medical treatment.

The number of medical images obtained through the technique known as positron emission tomography (PET) is increasing at a rate of 20 percent a yearand this has correspondingly increased the use of fluorine-18, the radioactive isotope of choice in the vast majority of PET procedures. Injected into the bloodstream while bound to carrier molecules, fluorine-18 lights up the body during PET scans to perform such jobs as revealing tumors, monitoring heart activity and determining which regions of the brain are active during certain tasks.

However, fluorine-18 has a very short lifea batch of the stuff decays to half its initial quantity in fewer than two hours, and less than one-ten-thousandth of the original amount is left after a single day. Because the stuff decays so quickly, it is not possible for a single central lab to make precise measurements on fluorine-18 solutions and then distribute them to far-flung centers to calibrate PET machines. This lack of a standard reference for fluorine-18 means that PET-related measurements from center to center, from patient to patient, and even in the same patient over time, are difficult or impossible to compare with one another.

NIST researchers, collaborating with an Ohio-based nuclear medicine company called RadQual, have turned to germanium-68 as a calibration surrogate for fluorine-18. This germanium isotope is much longer livedits half-life is 270.95 daysbut its radiation decay characteristics are otherwise similar to fluorine-18. Small differences between measurements of germanium-68 and fluorine-18 can be accounted for through the use of mathematical conversion factors. Germanium-68 never would be used in actual PET procedures; it would only be used to calibrate the machines properly, enabling more accurate measurements of the fluorine-18 isotopes. Although germanium-68 has been used for performing corrections on PET scanners, the industry has lacked a nationally traceable standard reference material for instrument calibration.

NIST researchers have calibrated solutions of germanium-68 that could become the basis of a new standard reference material for this isotope. The next phase of this project involves working with RadQual to calibrate a new mock syringe standard that would use germanium-68 embedded in an epoxy to simulate fluorine-18 in a syringe. This would help researchers more accurately determine the amount of fluorine-18 to be injected into patients during the PET procedure so as to minimize radiation dose while still producing the best image. NIST is also working independently on a germanium-68-based PET phantom that can be used to calibrate PET scanners in a way that is traceable back to NIST.

The first commercial products from this collaboration may be reaching PET centers later this year. By giving doctors more accurate results on how specific patients are responding to cancer treatments and providing more precise indications earlier in clinical trials as to how individual patients are metabolizing particular drugs, better standards for PET imaging may hasten the arrival of individualized medicine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Stein
ben.stein@nist.gov
301-975-3097
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. American College of Medical Genetics responds to new FDA labeling decision for warfarin
2. M2SYS Partners With Gnosis Medical Services to Provide Accurate Patient Identification in Developing Countries Through Innovative Biometrics Solution
3. Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacterias armor
4. $22 million gift from Alfred Taubman launches new biomedical research institute
5. USC biomedical team to participate in $6 million low vision project
6. 3 Columbia University Medical Center faculty elected to Institute of Medicine
7. Phase 2 of Singapores Biomedical Sciences Initiative gains momentum for clinical research
8. UMass Medical School researchers receive $8.5M grant award to fight AIDS
9. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
10. Triage study challenges notions of emergency medical response to disaster
11. Titanium Group Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Multimilion Dollar Medical Software Company and Its Existing Sales Network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The global ... landscape is marked by the presence of several large ... held by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC ... accounted for nearly 61% of the global military biometric ... in the global military biometrics market boast global presence, ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of ... performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team ... its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of ... the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: