Radioisotopes for Medical Diagnostics and Cancer Therapy at BNL

Application/Instrumentation: Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP)
Developed at: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Developed in: 1972-current
Result of NP Research: Basic Nuclear Physics research
Application currently being supported by: DOE Office of Nuclear Physics
Impact/benefit to spin-off field: Development of new radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and cancer therapy.

The Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP) runs parasitically off of the Brookhaven National Laboratory 200 MeV proton linear accelerator (LINAC). DOE NP supports the operation of the LINAC to generate beams of polarized protons to study the spin structure of the nucleon at RHIC.  The BLIP facility utilizes unused bursts of proton beams to irradiate targets for the development of new radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and cancer therapy.  

The 200 MeV LINAC supplies protons and polarized protons to the Booster for nuclear physics. Excess pulses (~90%) are diverted to BLIP for medical radioisotope research and production. Major current projects include large scale distribution of Sr-82 for heart scans, Ge-68 for calibration of hospital PET scanners, as well as Zn-65 for metabolic research. New isotope development programs include Cu-67 for cancer therapy, Y-86 for cancer diagnosis, and Fe-52 for combined PET&MRI diagnostic imaging. Prototype apparatus for hot cell processing of Cu-67 is shown below.



Hot cell processing of Cu-67