The University of Missouri announced March 23 an initiative to build a new, larger research reactor that will expand critical cancer-fighting research and medical isotope production at MU. Medical isotopes are used in cancer treatments and imaging agents to diagnose cancers and heart disease. Because of the targeted nature of the treatment, medical isotopes are effective in eliminating tumors without damaging the surrounding cells.
The new project, NextGen MURR, will build on the internationally recognized excellence of the MU Research Reactor (MURR), the highest powered university research reactor and the only producer in the United States of the critical medical isotopes yttrium-90, used for the treatment of liver cancer; molybdenum-99, for analysis of heart functions; iodine-131, used for treatment of thyroid cancer; and lutetium-177, used for treatment of pancreatic and prostate cancers.
“The work that we do at MURR saves and improves thousands of lives each and every day,” said Mun Choi, University of Missouri president. “NextGen MURR will produce advanced cancer medicines for the next 75 years and solidify the University of Missouri’s position as the most important resource for medical isotopes in the United States.”