The Rarest Drug on Earth
A rare radioactive element could revolutionize cancer treatment, and a team of scientists in Vancouver are on the case.
An incredibly rare isotope called Actinium-225 could revolutionize the way we treat cancer. Preliminary trials have obliterated cancer in patients given only weeks to live. There's only one problem: it's almost impossible to obtain. Today, most of our global supply comes from American radioactive waste, but it's barely enough to treat a handful of patients per year. Due to this shortage, it's been impossible to do a large-scale clinical trial. A team of researchers in Vancouver is trying to change that. At TRIUMF, the world’s largest cyclotron particle accelerator, which is owned by a consortium of 20 Canadian universities - scientists are looking at a new way to make Actinium-225 using leftover particles from the accelerator. If successful, Canada could become the global supplier of a brand new, lifesaving cancer treatment.
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