UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 9

research update The AIF houses the center profile continued from page 13 most innovative, cutting-edge Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging equipment found in Alabama. While the AIF’s clinical operation features PET, imaging agents for PET,” Dr. Eary says. “We recently the core of its research enterprise is the 61,000-pound began making a second radioisotope, Carbon 11, cyclotron. The UAB TR24 cyclotron is a type of which is strictly a research radioisotope for new PET particle accelerator that moves protons — positively imaging agents and has a very short half-life of about charged nuclear particles — along a circular path to 20 minutes. We are using these new imaging agents in strike a target, enabling researchers to make a variety research clinical protocols, which is very exciting.” of radiotracers or agents in quantities large enough to Half-life is defined as however long it takes for advance several clinical and research imaging efforts. half of the radioisotope to decay away. Carbon 11’s Because the cyclotron is on site, it enables UAB half-life of 20 minutes is considered fairly fast, which to produce n