FDA clears Areva's phase I trial for nuke med cancer therapy

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Areva Med, a subsidiary of Areva, has received authorization from the FDA to begin U.S. clinical trials for a new treatment aimed at combating cancer. This is the first such authorization for clinical trials using the lead-212 isotope.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company has developed a process for extracting lead-212 from thorium derived from its industrial activities. Lead-212 is a radioactive isotope used in cancer treatments, known as alpha radio-immunotherapy, which seeks to pinpoint and destroy cancer cells.

Phase I clinical trials will begin this year in the U.S. and will take approximately two years to complete.