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27 April 2012

The CHUS’s new cyclotron is now up and running

The Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS)’s new TR-24 cyclotron is operational: on March 26th, 2012, a pan-Canadian team of experts successfully demonstrated the production of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), a medical isotope needed in many medical tests and clinical investigations.

The new 24 MeV (million electron volt) cyclotron, installed at the CRCELB (Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel) in January 2012 , is the world’s first specially designed cyclotron for the production of technetium. This technology represents a steady, safe and ecological supply of isotopes utilized in nuclear medicine, and an alternative solution to radioisotopes produced with nuclear reactors.

The event took place in the presence of scientists from the CRCELB, the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc. (ACSI) in Vancouver, who built and installed Sherbrooke’s new 24 MeV cyclotron.

The three partners’ initiative follows the North American technetium shortage experienced in 2009 and 2010, which had been caused by a breakdown in a nuclear reactor in Ontario. The incident resulted in numerous delays and cancellations in nuclear medicine procedures.

The medium-term objective of the CRCELB is to increase production levels to provide up to 50% of Quebec’s Tc-99m needs .

Source: Centre de recherche clinique Étienne‐Le Bel (in french)

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