Radioisotopes for medical use are perennially in short supply and their variety is certainly lacking, limiting their practical use in a variety of cancers. To address this, scientists at Poland’s National Centre for Nuclear Research developed novel methods of generating yttrium-90 and lutetium-177, precursors for isotopes that would be used in medicine.
So far they’ve only produced microscopic quantities of the isotopes, but plans are in the works to begin a pilot production run in preparation for more substantial output.
From Poland’s National Centre for Nuclear Research:
“The new radioisotope preparations have been named by us Itrapol and Lutapol. They are precursors necessary to produce radiopharmaceuticals i.e. highly specialized medicines useful in oncology. They will help to devise more effective ways to fight cancer.” – explains Associate Professor. Renata Mikołajczak, Radioisotpe Centre POLATOM Director Proxy for Scientific Matters. – “Technological solutions we have developed may be used to produce both radionuclides at an industrial scale. Increased supply of radioisotopes to the market should increase availability of the derivative cancer treatment radiopharmaceuticals, and help to disseminate new forms of internal radiotherapy that are capable to improve quality of life of several cancer patients”.
The developed technology features high specific activity (that directly influences efficacy of radiotherapy) and high chemical/radiological purity (i.e. low level of contamination with other ions/nuclides) of the 90Y (Itrapol) and 177Lu (Lutapol) preparations. Besides, the applied state-of-the art solutions limit amount of the by-produced chemical/radioactive waste.
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