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Advances in emerging field of ‘theranostics’ are a game-changer Millions of patients around the globe rely on the regular and timely production of diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes produced in research reactors and accelerator facilities. Image courtesy IAEA. Advances in medical isotope diagnostics and therapy are holding promise for cancer patients, despite challenges facing the nuclear medical field in recent years related to radionuclide production and supply, rising costs, and stricter regulation.

Medical isotopes are radioactive substances used in various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to treat various types of cancers and other conditions. They are essential for modern medicine, allowing physicians to visualise and target specific organs, tissues and cells in a patient’s body.

Over more than a decade, personalised medicine using nuclear techniques has been gaining pace, allowing doctors to tailor therapies and treatments to the specific needs and physiology of a patient, and to avoid harm to healthy organs or tissues.

According to Sven Van den Berghe, chief executive of Belgium-based isotope producer PanTera, one technique that has seen significant advances is known as theranostics – the term used to describe the combination of using one radioactive drug to diagnose and a second to deliver therapy to treat the main tumour and any metastatic tumours.

Date: Friday, 14 April 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/sector-aims-to-tackle-isotope-supply-problems-as-excitement-grows-over-targeted-therapies-4-4-2023

Agency schedules webinar and warns of possible shortages at hospitals A researcher at Indonesia’s National Nuclear Agency using a hot cell to prepare a radiopharmaceutical. Courtesy M. Gaspar/IAEA. The production of radioisotopes used to produce radiopharmaceuticals for medical procedures has continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, but hospitals could face shortages due to bottlenecks in transport and distribution, the International Atomic Energy Agency has warned.

An agency survey conducted among operators of research reactors that produce radioisotopes for radiopharmaceuticals shows that most major actors continue to produce radioisotopes because the production facilities have been defined as essential by the relevant governments.

However, many airlines are no longer operating because of the pandemic and borders are closed, which affects the distribution of medical radioisotopes around the world.

Joao Osso Junior, head of the radioisotope products and radiation technology section at the IAEA, said the agency is working to assess the need for medical radioisotopes because most research and education activities using isotopes have been put on hold and many hospitals have delayed diagnosis applications.

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/radioisotope-industry-facing-distribution-challenges-says-iaea-4-2-2020

The production of medical radioisotopes has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic but bottlenecks in transport and distribution could lead to shortages at hospitals, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) survey of the research reactors where the isotopes are produced.

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Medical-isotope-supply-chain-faces-challenges-from