One of the main limits to the development of novel radio-medicinal products is the access to radionuclides during the development and early biomedical research phases. Within PRISMAP – The European medical radionuclides programme, this development phase can be enabled by giving medical researchers access to novel radionuclides of high purity. The radioactive elements that are used in nuclear medicine are not available naturally and must be synthesised in the laboratory. When producing those novel radionuclides, new challenges appear: One is the co-production of unwanted radioactivity, which affects the quality of the medicinal product, and can cause serious difficulties for waste management in a hospital environment.
This 3D graphic shows the SINQ, which helps to produce radionuclides for medical purposes. In the fast-evolving landscape around nuclear medicine, PRISMAP is also focused on the future.
Products and exhibitors around Imaging and Diagnostics
Exhibitors and products related to this topic can be found in the database of MEDICA 2021:
To address this, novel purification techniques are required. Within PRISMAP, techniques will be developed based on physical mass separation and radiochemistry to achieve high-purity radionuclide production that is appropriate for medicinal products. In order to support the ongoing research across Europe and beyond, immediate access to novel radionuclides will be provided by PRISMAP. A single-access platform has been established via their website, where the production and support capabilities are presented.
A network of world-leading European facilities, including nuclear reactors, medium- and high-energy accelerators, and radiochemical laboratories, has been established to offer the broadest catalogue of radionuclides for medical research. Mass separation is available at the CERN MEDICIS facility to provide the physical separation of isotopes of an element. This is completed by a network of biomedical research facilities that may host external researchers to perform their research close to the production facility when the radionuclides are not suitable for long transport to their institution, or when the European licencing for novel radionuclides has not yet been obtained.
Access to radionuclides and associated facilities will be granted on an excellence selection basis, by applying for access to radionuclides and, if necessary, to the complementary biomedical facilities, via the PRISMAP online access platform. A selection panel consisting of experts in the fields of radionuclide production, molecular imaging, and radionuclide therapy will select the best projects from the applicants.
The European Commission has expressed its commitment to tackle the societal impact of cancer through the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan and, in particular, the SAMIRA Action Plan unveiled earlier this year, including the establishment of a European Radioisotope Valley Initiative. Through the PRISMAP consortium of 23 academic and research institutions across Europe, development towards the upscaling of the production of these novel radionuclides will be investigated, in the form of novel production technology, new purification methods, and proof-of-concept investigations showing the development of new treatments from test bench to patient care, directly feeding this European-wide plan.
The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is one of the main partners of the PRISMAP consortium. Researchers are using its large-scale research facilities SINQ (Swiss Spallation Neutron Source) and Injector 2, along with the IP2 irradiation station, to produce radionuclides for medical purposes. Radionuclides are coupled to a molecular complex, docking selectively to tumour cells in the body, and can destroy them with their particle radiation. Nuclear medicine research is a truly multidisciplinary approach. PRISMAP will certainly support the implementation of a multidisciplinary working concept in practice.
MEDICA-tradefair.com; Source: Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)
More topic-related exciting news from the editors of MEDICA-tradefair.com