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  • Heavy Ion Best Radioactive Cure for
  • A leading Chinese nuclear physicist said on Tuesday that Chinese scientists are building the countrys first heavy ion therapeutic machine to be used as a radioactive cure for cancer. Zhan Wenlong, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said in an interview with Xinhua, "The physical feature of heavy...
  • 2006-06-30
  • A leading Chinese nuclear physicist said on Tuesday that Chinese scientists are building the countrys first heavy ion therapeutic machine to be used as a radioactive cure for cancer.

    Zhan Wenlong, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said in an interview with Xinhua, "The physical feature of heavy ion radiation makes beams of the particle the most ideal weapon to kill tumor cells while leaving healthy cells intact."

    Scientists from the CAS Institute of Modern Physics, which is headed by Zhan, are trying to use heavy ion beams from the Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou (HIRFL) to cure cancer patients.

    Zhan said they were successful when tested on animals. The CAS institute is now applying for an official permit for clinical use.American, German and Japanese scientists have already developed such equipment for cancer treatment.

    Traditional medical use of gamma-rays, electron-rays or X-rays in treating cancer patients would inevitably kill healthy cells while eliminating tumors. Heavy ion is unique in concentrating its energy on the target of tumors. Only a little radioactive elements would affect healthy human cells in the heavy ion therapy, Zhan acknowledged.

    The application has been widely tested in the United States, Germany and Japan since the 1990s. German and Japanese scientists even created special heavy ion accelerators for medical use. In the coming couple of years, Zhan said, there might be six to ten such machines in Europe and the Japanese are going to make 60 machines.

    "Although the heavy ion method is effective and safe," Zhan said, "we still need to address some basic technical problems for its medical use."                     
                                                                                   Source: CRI

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