You may not often put the two words “nuclear” and “medicine” together, but AREVA has, and opened a new front in the battle against cancer with the innovation and development of a promising treatment using Lead-212, a byproduct of used nuclear fuel recycling.
Production of medical-grade Lead-212 by AREVA Med, an AREVA subsidiary, will be conducted in the new Maurice Tubiana laboratory now under construction at Bessines-sur-Gartempe in the Limousin region of France.
The laboratory, the only one of its kind in the world, is slated to begin production in 2013.
The laboratory’s construction follows authorization by American authorities in January 2011 to begin the first clinical trials of a new radioimmunotherapy (RIT) treatment with Lead-212 (watch the video).
Innovation in nuclear medicine is dependant on the availability of medical-grade isotopes. With the Maurice Tubiana laboratory, the reliable production of the rare Lead-212 isotope should make it possible to treat the most aggressive forms of cancer.