Publicatie Laka-bibliotheek:
Medical isotope production using Lighthouse accelerator

Datumnovember 2017

Uit de publicatie:

Medical isotope production using Lighthouse accelerator
J.W. Blokker
to obtain the degree of
Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics
at the Delft University of Technology,
to be defended on Wednesday November 1, 2017 at 02:00 PM.

The number of new cancer cases unfortunately increases each year and is expected 
to grow to 23.6 million in 2030. In order to treat all these new cases new and 
cheaper ways of fighting cancer are needed. One method that is becoming more 
popular is the use of medical isotopes that emit radiation which destroys the 
tumor. Many of these isotopes are produced in specialized nuclear reactors. There 
are only a handful of these reactors in the world, making production expensive 
and resulting in a limited production capacity. A new way of producing these 
isotopes would be to use ASML’s Lighthouse accelerator, which uses electron beams 
to create radioactive molybdenum isotopes for medical research, emitting neutrons 
in the process.

The goal of this thesis was to investigate if the neutrons emitted from the 
molybdenum could be used to create more medical isotopes. Two isotopes were chosen 
to be studied; 166Ho and 177Lu. Lutetium needs no special preparation before 
irradiation, but in order to use radioactive holmium atoms for cancer treatment 
they have to be placed in special lactic acid microspheres. The placement of the 
holmium atoms in the microspheres happens before irradiation.