Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Canada to Develop New Isotope Production Methods

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 11 Mar 2013
An aging reactor and a worldwide looming shortage of medical isotopes has driven Canada to search for alternatives methods to manufacture technetium-99m (99mTc).

At the moment, Canada's only source of the isotope is the National Research Universal (NRU; Chalk River, Ontario, Canada) reactor at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL, Ontario, Canada), which produces about a third of the world's supply. But the reactor has been plagued with safety and operational problems, leading to worldwide shortages, and its license is set to expire in 2016. Consequently, Canada is investing close to USD 21 million in three projects in western Canada that have demonstrated the ability to produce the key medical isotope without a nuclear reactor.

Two of the research institutes, the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics (TRIUMF; Vancouver, BC, Canada) and the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) are using cyclotron technology to produce the isotope, while the third, Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise (PIPE; Pinawa, MB, Canada), is using a linear accelerator.

In the cyclotron process, the machine bombards a target of molybdenum-100 with high-energy protons, converting some of its atoms to molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Then chemical processing removes technetium-99 from the target, ready for use. The PIPE technology uses an electron accelerator rather than a nuclear reactor to make the Mo-99. The electron accelerator sprays electricity onto molybdenum metal, which produces the Mo-99 radioisotope. Next, a chemical process is used to fabricate the Tc-99m.

“The Harper Government is investing in Canadian expertise to help ensure new sources of supply for medical isotopes used in diagnosing various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease,” said Joe Oliver Canada’s natural resources minister. “We are investing in the work needed to attract private sector interest and to bring new technologies to market, and to help ensure that isotope production is on a sound commercial footing.”

Tc-99m is obtained from the decay of its parent isotope Mo-99 compounds that are packed into nuclear "generators" and distributed to hospitals, where nuclear medicine specialists can draw off the Tc-99m as needed for about a week. Tc-99m is used in 80% of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures in Canada, and about 85% of all medical imaging procedures worldwide. It is currently made in reactors in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Australia, and South Africa.

Related Links:

National Research Universal
TRIUMF
Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: A leukemia cell coated with antibody is marked for destruction by activated natural killer cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Southern California).

Leukemia Cells Are Killed in Culture by Immune Cells Grown from the Same Patient

Immune system natural killer (NK) cells were isolated from leukemia patients, expanded in culture, and then shown in an in vitro system to attack and destroy cancer cells from the original cell donors.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Synthetic ion transporters can induce apoptosis by facilitating chloride anion transport into cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin).

Experimental Drug Kills Cancer Cells by Interfering with Their Ion Transport Mechanism

An experimental anticancer drug induces cells to enter a molecular pathway leading to apoptosis by skewing their ion transport systems to greatly favor the influx of chloride anions. To promote development... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Liver cells regenerated in mice treated with a new drug (right) compared with a control group (center) after partial liver removal. Healthy liver cells are shown at left (Photo courtesy of Marshall et al, 2014, the Journal of Experimental Medicine).

New Drug Triggers Liver Regeneration After Surgery

Investigators have revealed that an innovative complement inhibitor decreases complement-mediated liver cell death, and actually stimulates postsurgery liver regrowth in mice. Liver cancer often results... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

White-Matter Deficits Found in Codeine-Containing Cough Syrup Users

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and linked these changes with increased impulsivity in codeine-containing cough syrup users. These findings were consistent with findings from earlier research of... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.