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Design study of an innovative high-intensity industrial cyclotron for production of Tc-99m and other frontier medical radioisotopes

Descripción del proyecto

Estudio de diseño de un ciclotrón de alta intensidad para la producción de radioisótopos médicos

El tecnecio 99m (99m Tc) es un radioisótopo metaestable que se utiliza en multitud de procedimientos de diagnóstico médico. En la actualidad, se produce casi exclusivamente en unos pocos reactores de investigación antiguos que quedan en el mundo. Los productos radiofarmacéuticos basados en el 99m Tc se aplican a estudios funcionales y de imagen del encéfalo, el miocardio, la tiroides, los pulmones, el hígado, la vesícula biliar, los riñones, el esqueleto y la sangre, así como a distintos tumores. Dependiendo del procedimiento, el 99m Tc se fija a un compuesto que lo transporta hasta su ubicación de destino. La producción directa de 99m Tc por ciclotrones protónicos es el enfoque más prometedor para aumentar su disponibilidad, si bien queda por superar el reto clave de diseñar un equipo compacto de alta intensidad denominado «ciclotrón de autoextracción» (SEC, por sus siglas en inglés). El proyecto financiado con fondos europeos InnovaTron mejorará el diseño de los imanes y las características ópticas de los haces del SEC a partir de soluciones tecnológicas nuevas.

Objetivo

Tc99m is the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. Production is almost exclusively done with a few ageing research reactors worldwide. Recent shutdowns of some those reactors have resulted in a worldwide Tc99m shortage. Europe is affected, because it is the second largest consumer of Tc99m worldwide. In response to growing concerns about Tc99m availability and the increasing demand in medicine, alternative production routes are being explored in the community. Direct production by proton cyclotrons looks the most promising solution. Cyclotrons offer several advantages, one of them being the possibility for local production, as is done for other commonly used medical isotopes. Large-scale production of Tc99m requires high proton beam intensities. InnovaTron focuses on a cutting-edge research project in accelerator design. The key challenge is the design of an innovative compact high-intensity cyclotron, named ‘self-extracting cyclotron’. In this machine, the proton beams exit without using an extraction device. Such devices usually prevent the extraction of high beam currents as would be needed for Tc99m production. A prototype machine was built by the company IBA around the year 2000. Self-extraction was successfully proven by extracting a current close to 2 mA. However, rather poor beam quality was observed resulting in too high machine activation and a maximum extraction efficiency not larger than 80%. This was encouraging but not yet good enough for industrial applications. InnovaTron will improve the magnet design and the beam-optics of the self-extracting cyclotron based on new technological solutions. It will be realized using high-level computer-aided design and beam physics studies. Key goals are: i) high currents up to 10 mA or more, ii) extraction efficiency higher than 95%, iii) beam quality at least a factor three better than the prototype.
This cyclotron will allow production of high quantities of Tc99m and other frontier medical isotopes.

Coordinador

ION BEAM APPLICATIONS SA
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 166 320,00
Dirección
CHEMIN DU CYCLOTRON 3
1348 Ottignies Louvain La Neuve
Bélgica

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Región
Région wallonne Prov. Brabant Wallon Arr. Nivelles
Tipo de actividad
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 166 320,00