News | September 04, 2008

Dutch Medical Isotopes Unavailable Until End of October

September 4, 2008 - Cancer patients in Europe, and possibly worldwide, may face a longer wait for diagnostic tests and treatments as a nuclear reactor in the Netherlands that supplies medical isotopes extended its shutdown for potential safety reasons.

Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group, which operates the reactor in Petten, in northwestern Netherlands, said Wednesday it would not start up the reactor again before the end of October.

About 15 to 20 percent of Canada's medical isotopes come from overseas, including the Petten facility, according to Health Canada.

"The consequences of this further delay will have an impact on the medical isotope market," the Dutch company said in a statement.

"NRG will not produce any medical isotopes in the months September and October (until 25th of October). We have already informed our customers about the situation. We are assisting in the search for alternative supply routes."

NRG stopped activity at the reactor after air bubbles were discovered in its cooling system. The company has said there is no danger to the public or the environment.

The reactor is the second-biggest producer of medical isotopes worldwide after Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s facility at Chalk River, ON. The Dutch reactor produces the majority of the world supply of isotopes of the element technetium, which give off radiation used in medical imaging and disease treatments.

Technetium-99m is used in 80 percent of diagnostic imaging that uses nuclear medicine technology, including imaging of the heart, kidney and brain. NRG-made isotopes account for seven million diagnostic tests per year in Europe and eight million per year in the U.S., according to the company.

Last week, AECL said that, given the problems in the Netherlands, the nuclear reactor at Chalk River, ON, could ramp up to meet Canada's demand for medical isotopes if required.

But MDS Nordion, a Canadian company that buys isotopes from AECL and sells them to pharmaceutical manufacturers, said: "MDS Nordion does not determine the allocation of medical isotopes to specific end users," such as hospitals in Canada or worldwide.

"We are concerned there is currently no reliable, long-term isotope supply solution to meet this growing demand. As a result, there is risk of isotope shortages recurring," MDS Nordion said in a statement last week.

In December 2007, unexpected problems during routine maintenance at Chalk River forced the reactor to be taken offline, causing a shortage of medical isotopes worldwide.

Source: cbcnews.ca
For more information: www.cbc.ca

Related Content

Voyageur Minerals to Begin Manufacturing Barium Contrast Products With Chief Medical Supply
News | Contrast Media | November 14, 2018
Voyageur Minerals Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Chief Medical Supply Ltd (CM) of Calgary, Alberta to...
Osprey Medical and GE Healthcare Launch Acute Kidney Injury Educational Program
News | Angiography | September 25, 2018
September 21, 2018 — Osprey Medical announced a collaboration with GE Healthcare on Osprey’s Be Kind to Kidneys campa
Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns, as seen in this MRI.

Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns, as seen in this MRI.

News | Contrast Media | September 12, 2018
In February 2018, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, to explore co
Scientists Develop New MRI Tool for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

Researchers in the laboratory ‘Biomedical Nanomaterials’ of NUST MISIS. Image courtesy of PR Newsfoto/NUST MISIS.

News | Oncology Diagnostics | August 24, 2018
A European research group has developed a system that allows doctors to both improve the accuracy of diagnosing...
Iron Outperforms Gadolinium as MRI Contrast Agent

Scientists at Rice's Laboratory for Nanophotonics added iron chelates (blue) and fluorescent dye (red) to multi-layered gold nanomatryoshkas to create particles that can be used for disease therapy and diagnostics. The "theranostic" nanoparticles have a core of gold (left) that is covered by silica containing the diagnostic iron and dye, which is covered by an outer shell of gold. The particles are about 20 times smaller than a red blood cell, and by varying the thickness of the layers, LANP scientists can tune the nanomatryoshkas to convert light into cancer-killing heat. (Image courtesy of Luke Henderson/Rice University)

News | Contrast Media | August 22, 2018
Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a method for loading iron inside nanoparticles to create magnetic...
Guerbet Partners With Imalogix on Dose Optimization With Artificial Intelligence
News | Radiation Dose Management | August 14, 2018
August 14, 2018 — Guerbet LLC USA announced a commercial partnership with Imalogix, a provider of...
Videos | Contrast Media | August 03, 2018
Lawrence Tanenbaum, M.D., FACR, vice president and director of advanced imaging at RadNet, discusses the latest resea
Guerbet, IBM Watson Health Partner on Artificial Intelligence for Liver Imaging
News | Clinical Decision Support | July 10, 2018
Guerbet announced it has signed an exclusive joint development agreement with IBM Watson Health to develop an...
Imaging agent helps predict success of lung cancer therapy
News | Oncology Diagnostics | March 08, 2018
March 8, 2018 – Doctors contemplating the best therapy for...
OptiStar Elite injector
Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | March 07, 2018 | Grand View Research Inc.
The global contrast media injectors market is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual...