A new device created by a University of Tennessee professor will allow doctors to dispense accurate dosages of a drug made with actinium-225, an isotope that has been shown to be effective in treating—and curing—myeloid leukemia.
Nuclear science Professor Eric Lukosi’s device, currently in testing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, would act as a critical quality assurance measure, guaranteeing that patients receive treatments exactly as recommended by their physicians. The power of partnership between the country’s premier national laboratory and a top-ranked public university means cancer patients are accurately receiving the treatments they need, when they need it most.
Myeloid leukemia can spread quickly and affect lymph nodes, organs, and the central nervous system. Acute myeloid leukemia is found most often in adults over the age of 45 and is frequently fatal for patients 60 and older.
Actinium-225 is an isotope extracted from thorium-229, a waste byproduct of the fuel that was used for ORNL’s molten salt reactor experiment in the 1960s. The lab’s Medical, Industrial, and Research Isotopes Group recovers and dispenses actinium-225 to medical facilities around the world for the treatment of cancer.