• a malleable and ductile rare earth metal named after Johan Gadolin, a Finnish scientist who discovered the best named element of all time, yttrium
    • apparently discovering one element means you get another one named after you, what the deal?
  • is strongly magnetic at room temperature and demonstrates a magnetocaloric effect (which means, of course, magnetic refrigerators!)
  • motexafin gadolinium is a novel anticancer agent that enhances the ability of radiation therapy to kill cancer cells
    • consists of a gadolinium cation contained in the centre of a large heterocyclic organic ring, much like a porphyrin ring
    • several mechanisms of action, including acting selectively on cancer cells to deplete their stores of metabolites that they need to repair the oxidative damage caused by irradiation
    • is currently being studied for use alone or in conjunction with radiation therapy in a number of different cancers, including those of the brain, lungs, kidneys, and pancreas
  • solutions of organic gadolinium complexes or gadolinium salts are used as contrast agents to enhance diagnostic imaging (mainly MRI but also X-rays)
    • contrast agents are injected into the body to increase the visibility of tissues
    • agents containing gadolinium have recently been linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), a rare and potentially fatal disease
      • occurs in patients with kidney disease and likely involves a number of factors including decreased kidney function, inflammation, and exposure to gadolinium
      • presents primarily in the extremities (arms and legs) as firm, erythematous (red), and indurated (hardened) plaques of the skin associated with subcutaneous edema (swelling) - thickening of skin restricts joint movement
      • other organs including the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys may be involved, such that organ damage can occur and potentially progress to death
      • currently no effective treatment
- Richards GM, Mehta MP. Motexafin gadolinium in the treatment of brain metastases. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007 Feb;8(3):351-9.
- Sadowski EA et al. Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis: Risk Factors and Incidence Estimation. Radiology. 2007 Jan 31; [Epub ahead of print]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadolinium

1 chemically inspired comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems to growing into a huge problem, looks like numerous people have been affected.
Read more about the Gadolinium Dyes exposure problem.