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National Isotope Development Center (NIDC)
NIDC Newsletter 11 - Front Page

MURR Exhibits at 2012 SNM Meeting

For more than 10 years MURR has had triple representation at the SNM annual meeting—as researchers presenting results from our programs and absorbing findings from other institutions; as educators presenting courses for continuing education credit; and as exhibitors engaging researchers and industry with information about our products and services.  Both of our groups network and nurture collaborative relationships to keep MURR programs viable and innovative.

MU Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Institute (RSI) researchers pulled a one-two punch in the Oncology: Basic, Translational and Therapy Track.The RSI serves as a catalyst for development of world-class interdisciplinary research and educational programs at MU. Its faculty have home departments in the School of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Arts and Science, College of Engineering, MURR and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital (HSTMVH, Columbia, MO).

First Place went to research on “Combination Lu-177 BB2r antagonist/chemotherapy control of prostate cancer: A preclinical evaluation,” presented by MU's Lindsay L. Donnelly, Tammy Rold, Kelsey Richmond, Ashley Szczodroski, Gary Sieckman, Shadi Haddadin and Timothy Hoffman. This work was 100% funded by the HSTMVH.

Second place was awarded to “In Vivo Evaluation of Gum Arabic Stabilized Gold-199 Nanoparticles in Normal Dogs,” co-authored by Cathy Cutler, Jimmy Lattimer, James Kelsey, Maryna Kuchuk, Kattesh Katti, Raghuraman Kannan, Anandhi Upendran and Wynn Volkert.

Cathy Cutler served as organizer and moderator for several of the sessions, and Alan Ketring gave an invited presentation in the Continuing Education Symposium on Radionuclide Production and Distribution, entitled, “Novel Reactor Produced Radionuclides for Imaging and Therapy.”  Wynn Volkert presented the SNM Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council (RPSC) Summary Session.

People meeting at the MURR Booth

Mercury Exposure and Risk if
Cardiovascular Disease in
Two U.S. Cohorts

To dine on the bounty of the sea or not to dine, that is the question.

As with many modern-day dietary choices, there has been controversy over the risks and benefits of fish consumption by adults. On the one hand, fish has been shown to have a beneficial effect, being inversely associated with the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)—especially fatal CHD—and with ischemic stroke, which occurs because of an obstruction within a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain.

On the downside, certain fish are the major carriers of methylmercury, a neurotoxin that forms in aquatic systems and accumulates in organisms up through the food chain, from bacteria, to plankton, to fish, and eventually to humans. Because "chronic, low-level methymercury exposure appears to cause subtle but measurable neurodevelopmental delay in infants, …it is recommended that women of childbearing age, pregnant or nursing mothers, and infants and young children eat no more than two servings of fish per week and also limit their intake of selected species of fish that are especially high in methylmercury content. In adults… the main health concern is potential cardiovascular toxicity, as suggested by results of experiments in animals and limited studies in humans."

Neutron activation analysis (NAA) is a highly sensitive and precise, nondestructive technique for analyzing the chemical composition of samples, including toenail clippings. Human toenails are an established biomarker for arsenic, selenium, manganese, mercury and other trace elements. For more than three decades, researchers at MURR® have collaborated with numerous epidemiology groups in the US to understand the role various elements play in health and disease. With funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute, a multidisciplinary team of researchers recently analyzed stored toenail specimens from a cohort of more than 173,000 US adults (30% male; 70% female). Incident cases of CHD and stroke were identified in 3427 participants and matched to controls according to age, sex, race and smoking status, and their nails assessed by neutron activation analysis (NAA) at MURR® for mercury and selenium.

The team "found no evidence of any clinically relevant adverse effects of mercury exposure on coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular disease in US adults at the exposure levels seen" in the study.