Electron Linear Accelerator Production of Medical Radioisotopes
Abstract: Radioisotopes play important roles in numerous areas ranging from medical treatments to national security and basic research. Radionuclide production technology for medical applications has been pursued since the early 1900s both commercially and in nuclear science centers. Medical radioisotopes utilized in radiopharmaceuticals are generally categorized as therapeutic, diagnostic, or both (theranostic) and are utilized for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, such as cancer. Theranostic agents are of extreme interest to the medical community because their radioactive decays provide both image-able and cell-killing emissions. Multimodality agents help to minimize healthcare costs, dose, and inconveniences to the patients as they allow for real-time assessment of the treatment.
Electron linear accelerators (LINACs) are unique sources for producing radioisotopes. Argonne National Laboratory’s Low Energy Accelerator Facility (LEAF) houses a newly upgraded 55-MeV/25-kW electron LINAC, capable of producing medical isotopes through photonuclear reactions that are difficult or otherwise impossible to make by other means. This talk will focus on current efforts toward the photonuclear production of the medical isotopes 47Sc, 67Cu, and 225Ac.