The MU Research Reactor Center celebrated the addition of a new cyclotron facility Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The addition will be used to research new ways to diagnose and treat cancer and heart disease, as well as new laboratory and office space for reactor personnel.
This fall, the facility, located on Carrie Francke Drive, will be open to patients in the area in need of PET scans. The cyclotron will also provide area hospitals with supplies of F-18 FDG, a fluorine isotope used in imaging heart and brain functions as well as potential tumors throughout the body.
“Local hospitals using PET imaging have to rely on F-18 FDG supplies from St.Louis and Kansas City,” said Ken Brooks, associate director of the MU Research Reactor. “This presents logistical challenges since the half-life of Flourine 18 is 1.8 hours.”
A partnership between MU and Mid-America Cyclotron, Essential Isotopes LLC., will run the facility.