by Katherine Berezowskyj
Last week France’s TF1 television network featured AREVA’s innovative work under way in partnership with the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the University of Alabama for the development of a treatment to fight cancer.
The news team got to take a look inside AREVA’s La Hague Facility, in Normandy, where the idea of using AREVA’s expertise in nuclear engineering first came into being. The piece from TF1 also shows the important research and clinical testing underway with partners in the United States.
AREVA Med, an AREVA subsidiary, is developing innovative methods for the production of the Lead-212 radio-isotope. This isotope has shown to be very promising in tests when used in the targeting therapy called Alpha radio-immunotherapy (Alpha-RIT). Alpha-RIT is a very powerful anti-cancer therapy that works by binding an isotope, like Lead-212, to a monoclonal antibody. Using the body’s own antigens, this treatment targets only cancer cells and destroys them using the high energy of Lead-212. While Alpha-RIT has potential to treat numerous types of cancers, including those that don’t respond well to chemotherapy or radiation, these radio-isotopes have traditionally existed in very limited quantities, hindering the development of new scientific treatments. This is why AREVA has focused on an isotope production method, to make sure Lead-212 is available for cancer research and future treatments.
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