Advanced Accelerator Applications Announces Partnership with the Institut Curie
The cyclotron will guarantee the supply of high quality radiopharmaceuticals for the hospital’s two PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanners, which are increasingly used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, enabling clinicians to track the progress of treatments such as chemotherapy as well as the appearance of secondary tumors and
René Huguenin is AAA’s fifth production center in France. It will allow AAA to supply other hospitals in western France.
The new cyclotron is expected to be fully operational in 2013. It will be used to produce F-18, which is widely used in nuclear medicine in the form of FDG (Fluoro Deoxy Glucose). Also produced will be carbon-11, a research nuclide whose use has been limited by its very short half life of around 20 minutes, requiring it to be produced on site.
C-11 is a base component of all molecules and thus of all medicines, making it ideal for tracing the progress of therapeutic molecules in the body. Work on radiotracers using F-18 will initially focus on prostate cancer and lymphoma.
FDG is a glucose analog which is consumed in significant quantities by many cancerous cells and therefore shows up clearly in PET scans. This allows clinicians to determine whether or not a lesion is cancerous and to detect tiny traces of cancerous cells. Because of the short half-life of the F-18 isotope (around 110 minutes), it has to be produced in relatively large quantities to allow for decay during delivery to the patient.
Dr Alain Pecking, Associate Director of the René Huguenin comprehensive Cancer Center, commented :
This collaboration with AAA for the installation of a cyclotron to produce isotopes reinforces the René Huguenin Hospital’s leadership in the field of nuclear medicine and will help us achieve our goal of offering patients the most up to date, innovative and targeted imaging techniques. Having a cyclotron on site will allow us to conduct PET scans using products that were not feasible previously because of their short half-life. This partnership with AAA will also enable us to evaluate the bioavailability and tumoral affinity of radio-active isotopes labelled with C-11 and to develop new radiotracers with F-18.
Stefano Buono, CEO of AAA, commented:
This is another important milestone for AAA. The Institut Curie is one of the world’s leading cancer centers and this partnership provides an exciting opportunity for both organizations to develop new and innovative oncology markers. There is a growing need for better oncology treatments and AAA is committed to developing innovative diagnostics and therapeutics. The partnership with the Institut Curie will significantly strengthen our position in this market.