An Innovative Solution to the World's Medical Isotope Shortage
Since 2007, the world has experienced several major supply interruptions of medical isotopes, especially Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) when the reactors in Chalk River (Canada) and Petten (the Netherlands) were stopped for unplanned maintenance and repairs.
The shortage of this isotope was felt around the world by many different types of patients and their families alike. Since those incidents, TRIUMF has been working with a national team to develop alternatives. With funding from NRCan, TRIUMF is developing and deploying a solution that will push medical isotope production from just a few large, global facilities to a system involving local hospitals and clinics that already maintain an infrastructure for producing medical imaging radioisotopes. This paradigm shift will dramatically modernize the production and distribution of medical isotopes and empower hopsitals and clinics to produce their own full suite of isotopes.
With support from the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and previously CIHR and NSERC, a world-class group of scientists have partnered to deliver an alternative technology for producing Tc-99m, the world’s most commonly used medical isotope.
The TRIUMF-led team is participating in the second wave of support from NRCan via the federal ITAP program that was created in Budget 2012.
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