Spotlight on Research
MURR Rearcher Tapped to provide overview on
Radiometals for Combined Imaging and Therapy
Early in 2012, Heino Nitsche, Professor of Chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, called MURR Research Professor Cathy Cutler with a request. He was pulling together a series of articles on Nuclear Chemistry for a special issue of Chemical Reviews, and he asked if she would write an overview on application of radioactive isotopes in medicine for diagnostics, imaging and radiotherapy. She accepted the charge, and pulled together a team of co-authors. Theirs is the first of the 12 reviews published in the February 2013 special issue of Chemical Reviews. Below is an excerpt from the Introduction to their review, "Radiometals for Combined Imaging and Therapy."
"The use of radionuclides in medicine is based largely on the discoveries of two critical concepts, the 'tracer principle' and the 'magic bullet'. In 1913, George de Hevesy developed the tracer approach and was the first to recognize that radionuclides could be used as tracers to follow how the native element or compound containing the element was distributed either in plants or in animals.1 He based his theory on the principle that radioactivity has the advantage of being easily detected at very low quantities, allowing for the introduction of minute quantities, nano- to picomoles, that will not perturb the system. Thus the radiolabeled tracer allows for noninvasive measurement of distribution and function in a biological system. Paul Ehrlich later developed the 'magic bullet' concept highlighting how biomolecules, particularly antibodies, could be utilized as targeting molecules to transport toxins selectively to cancerous tissues. For example, radionuclides can be attached to antibodies that are selective for receptors that are overexpressed on a certain disease site such as tumor cells. This concept has been expanded to include a host of nanocarriers, from small molecules such as folic acid to peptides and proteins, microspheres, and most recently nanoparticles. Both concepts have been utilized to develop radiopharmaceuticals."
Click on the graphic at right to read the complete article, "Radiometals for Combined Imaging and Therapy," by Cathy S. Cutler, Heather M. Hennkens, Nebiat Sisay, Sandrine Huclier-Markai and Silvia S. Jurisson, Chemical Reviews 113(2):858-883, February 2013; dx.doi.org/10.1021/cr3003104 [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/cr3003104]
Research & Development
MURR staff and their colleagues at the University of Missouri have fostered an environment for research for improving medical diagnostic tools, finding ways to battle cancer and other diseases with radioisotopes, preventing serious illnesses with screenings to reach optimal nutritional intake, improving the quality of life and knowledge base for people worldwide, analyzing materials and artifacts to help better understand the history of our planet and its people – and investigating materials to reveal their properties, fostering greater improvement of our understanding of matter and energy.