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Science for everyone: Neutrons in medicine
How are cancer therapeutics produced at FRM II with the help of neutrons? Dr. Tobias Chemnitz answered these and other questions in his lecture in the Hall of Honor of the Deutsches Museum. © FRM II / TUM
How neutrons help to diagnose and treat cancer was explained by Dr. Tobias Chemnitz during his talk in the “Science for everyone” lecture series at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. A livestream also enabled viewers at home to learn more about radioisotopes and tumor irradiation at the research neutron source FRM II.
Under the stern gaze of 24 Nobel laureates and engineers of contemporary history, Tobias Chemnitz took the 80 spectators in the Hall of Honor of the Deutsches Museum and via livestream on his medical-physical excursion. As promised in the announcement, the instrument scientist from the Technical University of Munich showed “The Many Faces of the Neutron in Medicine” at the FRM II. As one example, he explained how Lutetium-177, which is produced at the research neutron source, is used to treat prostate tumors. As another example, he showed what Molybdenum-99 is needed for, which will be produced at the Garching neutron source in the future. The audience learned how Molybdenum-99 decays to Technetium-99m and why it plays the main role in nuclear medicine as a diagnostic agent for cardiac function and metastases.
At the end, there was still time for questions from the audience, who wanted to know for example how healthy tissue is spared at FRM II during direct tumor irradiation of patients. A touching closing speech by the technical director at FRM II, Dr. Axel Pichlmaier, also brought current world politics very close.
The german lecture “Thermisch, heiß und schnell – die vielfältigen Gesichter des Neutrons in der Medizin” can be watched on YouTube.