On January 19, the first cycle of 2024 in the High Flux Reactor in Petten started for the irradiation of lutetium. Each year, 8 to 9 production cycles are run, with each cycle providing the raw materials for treating a third of all patients worldwide. With the new FIELD-LAB, NRG|PALLAS has more opportunities to contribute to research of new treatment methods using lutetium.
The medical isotope lutetium is used, among other applications, for the treatment of prostate cancer. Annually, approximately 15,000 patients are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The application of lutetium in metastatic prostate cancer offers patients a perspective of longer and better quality of life.
In the FIELD-LAB collaborative effort, NRG|PALLAS conducts research with university medical centres (UMC) on new treatment isotopes to diagnose and treat life-threatening diseases. The production process is further optimized to treat more patients even more effectively. In the near future, NRG|PALLAS will play a larger role in the production chain to facilitate research into new applications.
Vinod Ramnandanlal (commercial director NRG|PALLAS): "For almost a quarter of a century, we have been irradiating the lutetium isotope in our reactor for use in medications. Starting from late 2024, we can also arrange frequent lutetium deliveries (under Good Manufacturing Practices) from the FIELD-LAB itself. This will allow us not only to supply the market with lutetium, but also to initiate new research with our academic partners."
Lutetium has long been used to treat patients with neuroendocrine tumours, which are slow-growing tumours of the pancreas, intestines, or, in rare cases, the lungs. Lutetium is now widely used in the treatment of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. An example of a promising treatment currently being investigated is the use of lutetium-177-PSMA. The advantage of this treatment is its very localized effect, minimizing damage to surrounding tissues. Lutetium has become indispensable in cancer treatment with a life-extending perspective.
NRG|PALLAS has become an essential chain partner in nuclear medicine, both in the production and innovation of medical isotopes, an essential component of nuclear medications. With the opening of the new research and production lab FIELD-LAB last December and preparations for the realization of the new PALLAS-reactor in full swing, the path has been paved for a reliable supply of cancer medications for the future. The expectation is that the number of cancer patients will continue to rise, prompting Petten to prepare for an increasing demand for nuclear medications.
On average, 40,000 patients worldwide are treated daily with isotopes from Petten. NRG|PALLAS is thus one of the largest producers globally. Isotopes are used, among other things, for diagnostics (scans), (cancer) therapy, and pain control.
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