19 February 2015
Major Breakthrough in the Cyclotron Production of Technetium
Cyclotron-produced technetium is equivalent to that produced in nuclear reactors according to a clinical study conducted by a team from the CHUS’ research centre (CRCHUS) on this medical isotope in growing demand.
This is a critical step towards commercializing cyclotron technetium (99mTc), which constitutes a promising green alternative since it does not generate nuclear waste.
The study was conducted on people with a thyroid disorder. No side effects were noted, and the images obtained proved to be equivalent. “We now want to test this 99mTc to conduct more complex nuclear medicine examinations,” said Dr. Éric Turcotte, Nuclear Medicine Specialist at the CHUS and Research Professor at the CRCHUS and the Université de Sherbrooke.
The CRCHUS team is also working to implement larger scale production of these isotopes and a distribution structure to other hospital centres in Québec.
An essential isotope
99mTc is used in more than 85% of diagnostic examinations, including cardiac imaging and bone scans. However, the five main nuclear reactors have more than 50 years of combined service.
The CRCHUS has two cyclotrons intended for medical isotope production.
Source and photo credit: CRCHUS
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