We asked Marcel Stokkel, head of Nuclear Medicine at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital and chairman of the Dutch Association for Nuclear Medicine, his view on PALLAS.
‘Without medical isotopes we can’t do anything. Our Nuclear Medicine Department at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital could go ahead and close without them. Naturally, there are alternative methods for making medical isotopes, primarily production by cyclotrons. But those isotopes are only suitable for diagnostic purposes, not for treating tumours. That is why a reactor is essential. There are a few of them in the world, but most of them are old or will close down in the near future.
The reactor in Canada closed down two years ago. We currently still have a stable supply of medical isotopes, but all it takes is for one reactor to experience a failure and all hospitals worldwide will immediately have a problem. New reactors are needed in any case. PALLAS has progressed relatively far, so this could be the first new reactor that opens. Simply put, we very much need this reactor in nuclear medicine.’
Source: Focus on PALLAS