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

gh 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.


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

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