Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MEDICIS-PROMED (MEDICIS-produced radioisotope beams for medicine)
Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2019-03-31
New treatments using isotope pairs have this potential, and is named ""theranostics"". The field of molecular oncology and nuclear medicine is rapidly evolving. Indeed this personalised medicine approach combines diagnosis by imaging - using PET/CT scanners - and subsequent treatment with a similar radiopharmaceutical for which the imaging isotope is replaced by a treatment isotope.
In the recent years, PET/CT functional imaging using FDG - a glucose analog with an isotope which gives contrast in PET imaging - has had a significant impact on how the patients were managed during their treatment. Alongside the recent marketing of new drugs exploiting new radioisotopes and radioactivity such as Xofigo® and Luthatera® have shown important results to cure other forms of advanced cancers. This field is expected to further expand rapidly and provide new types of treatments combining personalized treatment and its imaging companion with the same radiopharmaceutical and different types of isotopes, emitting positron or gamma light for imaging on one side, and Auger electron, beta and alpha radiation for treatment on the other side.
In addition, isotopes such as 11Carbon can ""personalize"" hadron therapy treatments by imaging the dose distribution of the implanted ions in European radiotherapy facilities using Carbon treatment such as the CNAO, Centro Nationale de e Oncologia near Milano and Medaustron near Vienna.
MEDICIS-PROMED has significantly advanced the use of radioisotopes for personalized medicine in Europe. This was achieved in three interconnected Work-Packages, with 11 Early Stage Researchers hired by the beneficiaries and 4 recruited in Swiss partner organizations."
This domain has rapidly progressed on a European level thanks to the present training network proposal where leading academic, medical institutes and high-tech companies have contributed to a multidisciplinary coordinated program. This has build on the new CERN-MEDICIS medical radioisotope beams facility that can produce unique batches of innovative isotopes, such as 149Terbium.
The program has developped along three R&D work packages integrating multidisciplinary intersectorial training teams:
• Development of new radioisotopes and techniques using isotope mass separation for medicine and based on CERN-MEDICIS
• Development and test of 11Carbon PET-aided hadron therapy
• Synthesis & tests of radiopharmaceuticals to diagnose & treat ovarian cancer
Besides the development and tests of the first graphene-coated isotope production targets providing corrosion resistance by Ms. Nazarova trained in the group of Prof Kostya Novozelov, a new type of materials suited for the production of PET (positron-emitting isotopes) imaging ions in a next generation of radiotherapy centers has been patented at Katholik University Leuven. This development is one of the different contributions collected in a dedicated MEDICIS-Promed Technical Design Report written 2 young researchers (ESRs) and 5 contributors from 5 institutes, and coordinated by Dr. Liviu Penescu (Abstract Landscapes) invited in the network to achieve this task.
CERN-MEDICIS operation culminated with new laser systems for isotope production by V. Gadelshin and a world-first production of a new grade of the therapeutic 169Erbium by R. Formento from Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA)/Novartis and collaborators, which allows the exploitation of this isotope used only for radiosynovectomy (small joints arthrosis treatment) into the field of theranostics (combination of 2 drugs, a targeted treatment, and its imaging companion).
These results, and others, were exposed during the final conference of MEDICIS-Promed in the medieval village of Erice, that brought together world renown oncologists and scientists, from across Europe, Japan, USA and Canada, as well as representatives from international associations and organizations, SME’s and capital venturists to exchange on the latest results and launch new ideas, in the related field of targeted radiotherapy and techniques for radioisotopes.
The MEDICIS-Promed network has shown to be able to provide a seed for structuring the community with some of the young researchers already employed in the pharmaceutical industry while others continue in clinical or academic research. The final conference served to launch a kick-off meeting to form a network of relevant European medical isotope production centers for this starting research community, as a new version of the national isotope program in USA.