JNM: Researcher Document That Cyclotrons Can Produce Medical Isotopes


(RICHMOND, B.C.) – Research scientists in Sherbrooke and Richmond have published an article in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine documenting clear proof that cyclotrons can be a part of the solution to solving the world’s medical isotope shortage.


Authored by seven academic researchers from the Sherbrooke Molecular Imaging Center (CIMS) at the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec and two industry researchers from Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc. (ACSI) in Richmond, B.C., the article makes the scientific case for a cyclotron-based solution to the medical isotope crisis.


“Our findings from this research show that medical cyclotrons can produce clinical-grade Tc-99m isotopes that can be used as a substitute for nuclear reactor-derived Tc-99m needed to sustain nuclear medicine research and diagnostic testing,” says Université de Sherbrooke’s Dr. Johan van Lier, the lead academic researcher on the project.


Technetium-99m is the medical isotope that has been in short supply since the Chalk River reactor stopped producing them last year. This is the first academic research that proves the potential of cyclotron’s to produce the medical isotopes needed.


“The research behind this article represents a significant step forward to proving that cyclotron-produced Tc-99m can be an important part of meeting Canada’s and the world’s medical isotope needs,” says ACSI CEO Richard Eppich. ACSI co-sponsored the research, which relied on use of their TR-19 cyclotron technology.


“Cyclotron Production of Tc-99m: An Approach to the Medical Isotope Crisis” appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (April 1 2010, Volume 51, pages 13N-16N).


In their research, the nuclear medicine scientists compared the chemical, radio-chemical, and biologic properties of cyclotron and generator-derived Tc-99m for common nuclear medical procedures.


“The results of our quality control tests and in vivo experiments support the concept that cyclotron-produced Tc-99m is suitable for preparation of USP-compliant, GMP grade Tc-99m radiopharmaceuticals,” says the article’s conclusion.


 “Establishing decentralized networks of medium-energy cyclotrons capable of producing large quantities of Tc-99m would effectively complement the supply of medical isotopes traditionally supplied by nuclear reactors, while sustaining the expanding need for other medical isotopes.”


The full article can be found here: http://jnm.snmjournals.org/cgi/reprint/51/4/13N.pdf




For more information, contact Marcella Munro at 604-345-3214.





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