The Nuclear Option

The Nuclear Option

Dr Ulli Köster explains how rare radioisotopes, made in world famous physics labs such as CERN, could provide new treatments for cancer

The Biologist Vol 60(3) p20-23

Jaws, Oddjob, Dr No... in the James Bond films we have seen the famous British spy eliminate some notorious villains. In the medical world, the treatment of cancer is turning to its own group of special agents, displaying a keen sense to seek out danger and a deadly efficiency in bringing down a very different, but equally treacherous foe.

The source of interest is a new generation of radiopharmaceuticals based on a group of radioactive isotopes with properties that make them ideal for more targeted cancer treatment. The hope is that these powerful weapons could not only improve the success rates of treatment and diagnosis through personalised medicine, but also reduce some of the nasty side effects associated with existing procedures. This most critical of missions – developing these specialised agents to fight cancer – is being pioneered by an unlikely collaboration of research facilities...

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