Navigation Links
SNM expresses serious concerns as isotope shortage looms
Date:8/27/2008

RESTON, Va.A shutdown announced yesterday at a nuclear reactor facility at Petten in the Netherlands threatens the ability of countries across the globe to access and obtain radioactive isotopes, which are critical for performing many common nuclear medicine procedures in the United States and worldwide. The shutdown at the High Flux Reactor in Petten comes after a similar shutdown last December of the National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River, Canada by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

"SNM has serious concerns about this most recent outage," said SNM President Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A. "A combination of anticipated outages at other production reactors, coupled with unanticipated shutdowns, is simply devastating. The impact on the patients who are in need of diagnostic tests using these radioisotopes is very serious. The United States and other countries are not prepared to adequately deal with the current situationlet alone anticipate other situations as they continue to arise. Following the shutdown of Canada's Chalk River facility late last year, we simply cannot afford to sit and wait as the situation continues to worsen," added the emerging medical technology team leader at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The nuclear facility at Petten produces molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), which is the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. Mo-99 is artificially produced through the fission process and has a half-life of 66 hours, meaning that it cannot be produced and stored. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, which are dispensed by pharmacists or sold over-the-counter, nuclear reactors produce radioactive isotopes that are processed and provided to hospitals and other nuclear medicine facilities based on demand.

"This could be described as a perfect storm in isotope availability," said Atcher. "This is a cumulative situation where we cannot maintain a patchwork approach to isotope production and supply. It also highlights the vulnerability of having no domestic source of clinically used isotopes in the United States."

Mo-99 is essential to performing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging procedures, which allow physicians to identify at a metabolic and cellular level what is going on inside an individual's body. In addition to pinpointing the underlying cause of disease, physicians can actually see how disease is affecting other functions in the body.

SNM is working with partners from other molecular imaging and healthcare organizations to identify and implement potential solutions to this looming crisis. In June, SNM's Isotope Availability Taskforce published a draft report examining potential solutions for creating a domestic supply of medical isotopes in the United States. Reactor outages, coupled with recent efforts to curtail the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in radioisotope production as a non-proliferation strategy and to deter terrorism, now pose a significant threat to Mo-99 availability within the United States.

"Our highest priority remains the supply of these critical medical isotopes to the nuclear medicine community," said Steve West, president of MDS Nordion, headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

The facilities that produce medically essential radioisotopes routinely close for scheduled maintenance and communicate with each other regularly to ensure that production and supply remain sufficient for needed supplies. However, unexpected disruptions during maintenance, such as what occurred at the Petten facility, when all other facilities are off-line, means that there is a distinct possibility that worldwide production of Mo-99 could completely cease for a prolonged period, with devastating results.

"This is a serious problem requiring a quick response and in-depth solution," said Michael Graham, M.D., Ph.D., SNM President-Elect. "Now, more than ever, it is critical that the United States, along with other countries, take the lead on recommending alternatives to ensure consistent access to mission-critical isotopes, which are essential to hospitals and their ability to provide patient care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Alliance Expresses Support for Concept Underlying New CMS Five-Star Rating System for Nursing Facilities
2. National Restaurant Association Expresses Disappointment About Court Ruling on Menu Labeling in New York City
3. Obesity raises risks of serious digestive health concerns
4. Americas Beauty Obsession Poses Serious Consequences for Women and Girls, Report Reveals
5. Consumer Alert: Black Henna Tattoos Can Cause Serious Skin Reactions
6. Lehigh to lead $9.6M national research center for serious behavior disorders
7. Taking Control: Future Therapies for a Host of Serious Diseases May Be Found in Womens Menstrual Blood
8. Injuries to high school baseball players becoming more serious
9. Short-term use of antipsychotics in older adults with dementia linked to serious adverse events
10. Study finds 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common; can pose serious health hazards
11. Triple threat: Young macho men with serious injuries often abuse alcohol
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are recognized ... this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within the ... this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, Burt ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the ... from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to ... chloride in balance. Increasing number of ESRD ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: