Nuclear Molecular Imaging—A Safe Solution
The idea of injecting radioactive compounds into the body understandably raises some eyebrows. Safety always has to be the foremost consideration when performing any type of therapy. This is also the case when it comes to molecular imaging, a process used by research centers such as Cell>Point Colorado. We are going to examine why it’s safe and how it differs from the process used for the treatment of tumors.
How the Imaging Process Works
The way nuclear medicine works is through the use of radioactive isotopes coupled with delivery molecules (radiopharmaceuticals) that are targeted to a specific disease in the body. Once they are localized in the area of the disease, they can be detected by specialized equipment such as that used by CellPoint and Colorado. The images they produce are used to study the affected area on a molecular level. Since the radiopharmaceuticals can be detected, the surrounding activity can be examined, and the health of the area can be ascertained. The information can be used to treat the disease.
Is It Really Safe? Yes
Despite the obvious benefits, concerns as to the safety of this procedure are certainly understandable. Cell Point Colorado uses technetium 99m as the radioisotope which is very safe with low radiation and has a short, six-hour half-life.
How Is the Radiation Different from External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)?
EBRET directs a beam of radiation from outside the body at cancerous tissues inside the body.
It is a cancer treatment option that uses doses of radiation to destroy cancerous cells and shrink tumors. Side effects can be significant including damage to healthy tissue and organs. The radioactive materials used by Cell>Point Colorado, technetium 99m, is much lower in radiation. According to the Society of Nuclear Medicine, “Nuclear medicine studies have been performed on babies and children of all ages for more than 40 years without any known adverse effects”.
There are other applications for nuclear molecular imaging as well, such as heart disease, brain disorders and more. Cell Point and Colorado is leading the way in exploring the uses of this technology for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.