Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cyclotrons could alleviate medical isotope shortage

Date:
June 8, 2010
Source:
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Summary:
The most widely used medical radioisotope, Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), is essential for an estimated 70,000 medical imaging procedures that take place daily around the world. Aging reactors, production intermittencies and threats of permanent reactor closures have researchers striving to develop alternative methods of supply. In a comparative study, researchers show that medical cyclotrons could be capable of producing this medical isotope.

The most widely used medical radioisotope, Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), is essential for an estimated 70,000 medical imaging procedures that take place daily around the world. Aging reactors, production intermittencies and threats of permanent reactor closures have researchers striving to develop alternative methods of supply. In a comparative study presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 57th Annual Meeting, researchers show that medical cyclotrons could be capable of producing this medical isotope.

"This research provides a near-term solution for the medical isotope shortage and the associated global interruptions of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) supply, the high costs of reactor maintenance, radioactive waste processing and eventual reactor decommissioning," said Brigitte Guérin, lead author and researcher at the CHUS's Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel and the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada. "These realities make the use of safe cyclotron technology attractive for the regional supply of Tc-99m, while facilitating the expanding role of molecular imaging in diagnosing and treating critical medical conditions, including cancer and heart disease."

The vast majority of the supply of Tc-99m's parent isotope, Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), is produced by a handful of reactors and distributed to medical centers via generators. About two thirds of the world demand for Tc-99m is supplied by the NRU reactor in Chalk River, Canada, and the Petten High-Flux Reactor in The Netherlands. Both reactors are now over 45 years old and currently out of production for maintenance. NRU is expected to end production permanently by 2016. Nuclear medicine centers across the U.S. and internationally have felt the impact of reactor closures and temporary shutdowns for maintenance, resulting in a growing crisis.

Producing Tc-99m in decentralized cyclotrons could supplement reactor production and act as an alternative during lags in reactor production. Cyclotron production involves bombarding Mo-100 with protons, which does not entail uranium fission. This process is aligned with efforts to reduce reliance on production involving highly enriched uranium, which is also used to produce nuclear weapons.

This study focused on the direct production of Tc-99m from Molybdenum-100 by high-current, medium-energy medical cyclotron and compared the chemical, radiochemical and biological properties of cyclotron and generator-produced technetium for medical use. In the study, researchers compared both cyclotron and generator-produced Tc-99m and prepared imaging agents used in molecular imaging of the thyroid, bone and heart. Both formulations were found to be identical and cyclotron-produced technetium was deemed appropriate for the development of medical-grade radiopharmaceuticals. However, it is important to note that most PET radiopharmacies have lower energy cyclotrons that are not equipped to produce large quantities of Tc-99m using this method.

Further large-scale studies need to be implemented before full-scale production of Tc-99m could begin in regional medical cyclotrons. Funding to further pursue these studies has been awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Scientific Paper 589: B. Guérin, S. Tremblay, S. Rodrigue, J.A. Rousseau, V. Dumulon-Perreault, R. Lecomte, J.E. van Lier, Sherbrooke Molecular Imaging Center and Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada; A. Zyuzin, E.J. van Lier , Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc., Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; "Direct production of Tc-99m with a medical cyclotron," SNM's 57th Annual Meeting, June 5-9, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Nuclear Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Cyclotrons could alleviate medical isotope shortage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142103.htm>.
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2010, June 8). Cyclotrons could alleviate medical isotope shortage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142103.htm
Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Cyclotrons could alleviate medical isotope shortage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142103.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins