Navigation Links
Ongoing worldwide shortage of medical isotopes could threaten patient care, says expert
Date:3/18/2009

A University of Nottingham expert is calling on the Government to provide substantial new investment into the production of medical isotopes or face a dangerous shortage that threatens to compromise patient healthcare.

Alan Perkins, Professor of Medical Physics at The University of Nottingham and President Elect of the British Nuclear Medical Society (BNMS), will tell the BBC's Material World today that a series of disastrous setbacks in the worldwide production of radionuclides had recently caused disruption to clinical services. Although the recent crisis has now passed we now need to "plan for failure" to ensure the future provision of essential diagnostic imaging procedures for thousands of UK patients.

Professor Perkins said: "The medical use of radionuclides is probably the single most beneficial application of atomic and nuclear sciences to mankind. I am advocating further investment in alternative means for producing medical radionuclides for the benefit of patients who desperately need them."

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is used as a radioactive tracer in nuclear medicine investigations such as gamma cameras, which allow doctors to see inside a patient's body to track down damaged organs and tissues and diagnose a range of life threatening diseases, including cancer, heart problems and renal failure.

Globally, nuclear medicine investigations are the second most common diagnostic imaging procedure after x-ray CT and more than 28 million procedures are carried out each year using Tc-99m. Around 80 per cent of clinical nuclear medicine work is dependent on the routine availability of the radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), from which Tc-99m is derived, which has a half-life of three days and cannot therefore be stockpiled.

Ninety-five per cent of the world's Mo-99 is produced by five commercial nuclear reactors NRU at Chalk River in Canada, HFR at Petten in The Netherland, BR-2 at Fleurus in Belgium, OSIRIS at Saclay in France and SAFARI-1 at Pelindaba in South Africa. The UK has no facility for producing Mo-99 of its own. Until fairly recently, production and worldwide distribution were fairly reliable and distributors had managed to arrange contingencies to ensure supplies during scheduled reactor down time or critical shut down.

However, a series of unavoidable maintenance issues and unforeseen events in the industry have recently highlighted the fragile nature of supplies and raised concerns over shortfalls in national provision and a lack of international cooperation.

Since January 2007, there have been five periods of serious disruption to supplies, including a month outage at Chalk River to fix safety back-up systems and a six-month shut down of the Petten reactor from August 2008 after corroded pipes were discovered in its primary cooling circuit.

Professor Perkins added: "The recent supply disruptions at the end of 2008 and early 2009 have adversely affected patient services in many countries including the UK, the majority of Europe, the USA and Canada and beyond.

"In the UK, the supply of Mo-99 to some hospital departments was down to 30 per cent of normal levels. As a result departments have had to prioritise to make the most effective and efficient use of supplies and ensure that tests were provided for those patients most in need.

"However, with pressure on hospitals in England to provide tests within six weeks, there has been concern that this may not have happened in all cases and that priority would be decided based on waiting lists and not clinical judgement."

Professor Perkins added that Britain needed to seriously consider investing in its own production facilities to reduce its reliance on the foreign reactors, which are all more than 40 years old and are approaching their time for decommissioning.

International concern over medical isotope shortages led to an International Workshop on the Security of Supply of Medical Isotopes at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in January of this year. Organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), it led to a unanimous agreement between producers, distributers, national societies and clinical professionals to work together by exchanging materials, information and strategic support.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Food Safety Expert: Americans Not Aware of Ongoing Risk & Complications of Salmonella Poisoning
2. Stimulus Bill Requires Modification in U.S. Senate to Better Protect Seniors Ongoing Access to Quality Nursing Home Care
3. Window World Cares Raises $160,000 for St. Jude Childrens Hospital, Commits to Ongoing Support
4. New Study Disputes Ongoing Controversy Over Memory Screenings
5. Town Hall Meeting on Inequities in Clinical Trials Documents Ongoing Tuskegee Effect When Recruiting Minorities for Research Studies
6. Beleaguered Howe Developmental Center Remains Open Despite Additional Deaths and Ongoing Violations of Human Rights
7. 228 People in 22 States Sickened in Ongoing Salmonella-Tomato Outbreak
8. Charitable Donations to Private Organizations in Haiti Critical Component to Ongoing Food Crisis Relief Efforts
9. Ongoing study continues to show that extra sleep improves athletic performance
10. Survey Highlights Ongoing Shift To Wellness to Manage Health Care Costs
11. Information About The Airborne Health, Inc. Settlement, and Other Ongoing Litigation Alleging False and Deceptive Marketing Of Airborne(R)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... City was selected as one of few medical professionals in the country to sit ... As Founder of Juvly Aesthetics, in just 2 years Dr. Harper helped propel the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... Carson Liu of SkyLex Advanced Surgical, Inc. is thrilled to offer the recently ... balloon procedure, and this procedure adds to SkyLex Advanced Surgical’s already comprehensive ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... GA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... With ... to Marshallville, Georgia, in early March. , The seed processing plant opened in Marshallville ... location since 2016. The new office allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed operations ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Thank you to all who ... 8-10. , This event was exclusive to providers and offered an opportunity to ... took place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt where attendees gathered for a lively discussion ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Bacteria and fungi are probably not the first ingredients that ... fact, including the right microorganisms in your diet can actually improve health outcomes. And the ... This is the topic of a new peer-reviewed paper led by Maria ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... STUTTGART, Germany , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... provide over 7,000 attendees and more than 600 ... learn, and discover opportunities and solutions that will ... - 6 April 2017 at the Messe Stuttgart, ... is the preeminent medical technology platform showcasing the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  A new survey ... found that Medicare,s Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) significantly reduced ... supplies. The lack of choice forces beneficiaries to switch ... dire health consequences. AADE,s survey is ... AADE and others pointing out the inherent problems with ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... NEW YORK , March 27, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com ... According to a ... North America , grew 34 percent to $6.7 billion ... growth rate of (CAGR) over the next five years, from $6.7 billion ... portion of Americans that will be able to purchase cannabis without a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: