Food irradiation, using X-rays or gamma rays, helps countries prevent fruit and vegetables from going to waste. With the support of the IAEA, a food irradiation facility in Havana, Cuba has reopened after 20 years. Click link to watch video:https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/multimedia/videos/making-fruit-and-vegetables-last-longer-with-food-irradiation19 March 2019Story and Editing: Alejandra Silva Camera: Martin Klingenboeck
Chinese researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) medical tool that can help doctors target head and neck tumor cells faster and more accurately, according to an article published in the international journal Radiology.Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is cancer that starts in the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the pharynx behind the nose. Symptoms include lumps in the neck, nasal congestion, headache and hearing loss. About 70 percent of patients were in the later stages when they were diagnosed.Due to the organ structure and its location in the human body, surgery is always difficult, and radiation therapy is the most common form of treatment.Radiation, delivered by a linear accelerator, can kill tumor cells but has to pass through about 40 vital organs including the brainstem and eyeballs before reaching the nasopharynx."Insufficient radiation exposure may cause cancer recurrence, while excessive exposure may result in brain damage, hearing loss and other side effects," said first author of the article Lin Li, a researcher with the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou.Accuracy in tumor delineation on diagnostic images is key to radiation therapy. However, manual delineation is labor intensive and highly variable among doctors."Generally it will take a senior doctor two to three hours to target the tumor volume on a CT or MRI, but for inexperienced doctors, it will take more than six hours," said lead researcher Sun Ying.Researchers from Sun Yat-sen University, along with computer experts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, constructed an AI contouring tool that could automatically delineate the gross tumor volume on patient's MRI data.In the study, researchers collected MRI data sets covering the nasopharynx from 1,021 patients between 2016 and 2017 and applied the AI tool with a 3D convolutional neural network, a new medical image segmentation technique. The AI was trained to automatically delineate the tumor volume with images in 818 patients and were defined by the consensus of two human experts.In a competition with eight qualified doctors from renowned hospitals, the AI contouring accuracy reached 79 percent with 203 patients, taking 20 to 50 minutes per case, outperforming the accuracy of human competitors.To further explore the clinical value of the research, two months after the competition, the eight doctors were asked to correct the AI-only automated contouring results, which is a process called AI assisted contouring. The result showed that it improved manual tumor contouring accuracy by 5 percent.Reviewers of the journal Radiology were impressed by the sample size used in the paper, and commented that such an AI contouring tool for tumor targeting was "rare and challenging."The AI contouring tool can help inexperienced doctors reach expert level, raising their work efficiency, which could have a positive impact on tumor control and patient survival, said Sun, adding that the tool is expected to be put into clinical test in more places.The disease is common in southern China, particularly in Guangdong Province, where the incidence rate is 40 times that of the world average. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as "Cantonese cancer."Scientists believe it is caused by a combination of viruses, genes and environment.The university's cancer center admits more than 5,000 patients with Nasopharyngeal carcinoma every year, accumulating medical data on more than 10,000 cases. (Xinhua)
A patent “a PIN type nuclear detector and its preparation methods” of associated professor Dr. LU Min from Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics has been awarded gold prize on the seventh China International Patent and Famous-Brand Expo held in Wu Xi of Jiang Su province Nov.6-8 2010.This patent aims at designing and fabricating PIN type nuclear detectors based on GaN, which has wider band gap than traditional semiconductor detectors such as Si, GaAs, CZT, etc.. So it doesn’t need to reduce noise signal by cooling, and it can work at room temperature. Also it has stronger radiation resistance compared with traditional semiconductor detectors. Therefore it has broad applications in nuclear medicine, nuclear imaging, and advanced nuclear reactors neutron detection, and so on. This detector has been in R&D, and the prototype device has been successfully fabricated by Dr. Lu Min and his group. This detector has emerged with some better performance than conventional semiconductor detectors.GaN nuclear radiation detectors are the core component of the XRF equipments, nuclear medicine imaging systems such as X-ray imaging, PET and SPET machines, etc.. The excellent radiation hardness and corrosion resistance can greatly improve the performance of nuclear power control systems, which would result in better safety and higher using efficiency of nuclear fuel. The patent leads to not only good economic benefits, but also very prominent social benefits. It has significant impact on energy conservation and emission reduction. In the application of medical imaging system, it can greatly improve imaging quality and greatly reduce radiation dose absorbed by patients and doctors, and the doctors can also more easily observed the patients’ lesions with subtle pathological change. This is important to improve the diagnostic capabilities of medical imaging in China.
Women in childbearing age require special attention in X-ray and radiopharmaceutical imaging. A potential pregnancy needs to be identified before the exam. If the procedure is unavoidable during pregnancy, all measures are taken to protect the unborn child. Click link to watch video:https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/multimedia/videos/medical-imaging-in-pregnancy15 December 2017Video: Svetlomir Slavchev, Narrator: Patricia Puhm
The International Atomic Energy Agency has delivered emergency supplies to help Mozambique fight further outbreaks of animal diseases, such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease and Rift Valley fever, which could threaten people and livestock in the aftermath of floods caused by recent cyclones. IAEA helps cyclone-hit Mozambique prevent animal disease (Image: D.Calma/IAEA)The assistance will help laboratories apply nuclear-derived diagnostic tests, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), to detect diseases quickly and with great accuracy."In addition to the tragic human death toll, more than 300.000 farm animals were killed and another six million were put at risk," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said yesterday. Prompt assistance by the IAEA is helping Mozambique to prepare for possible animal disease outbreaks, he added.The emergency package will go towards strengthening the Central Veterinary Laboratory in the capital Maputo as well as restoring services in strategic laboratories in the cities of Chimoio and Pemba, located in the central and northern regions most affected by the floods."After cyclones Idai and Kenneth, animal movements occurred and with those, diseases like foot and mouth disease and African swine fever may have spread to other provinces," said Sara Achá, head of Mozambique's Central Veterinary Laboratory. "Water- and vector-borne diseases may also have found new ground for their spread, so early and quick diagnosis can help contain this."Using PCR, copies of DNA sequences are amplified exponentially to generate thousands to millions of more copies of that particular DNA segment. ELISA detects the presence of a ligand in a liquid sample using antibodies directed against the protein to be measured.