Articles

30 November 2022

It is game on for actinium-225 and lead-212. These two alpha-emitters can treat the same cancer and they are center stage in several researches around the world. However, only one can be the winner and conquer the market. What are the differences between these two powerhouses and which one is more likely to take the prize.

The major bottleneck for research and development of radiopharmaceuticals for targeted alpha therapy is its limited availability. The irradiation of radium-226 could be a game changer as the amounts produced using this method could fulfill the market needs for alpha-emitters. However, there are several challenges in 226Ra target preparation and further processing of irradiated targets.

During the NVNG Spring Conference of last Friday our R&D manager Karlijn van der Schilden provided insight into the current developments of NRGǀPALLAS in the field of developing new production routes for existing and new isotopes. With inextricably linked the subject of securing availability and supply.

In order to predict the behavior of nuclear medicine in the body after administration, Ramona Bouwman, consultant radiation protection at NRG, has been developing a biokinetic model to do just that.

A decade ago, it was claimed that alpha-emitters are indispensable when it comes to optimisation of strategies for tumour therapy. Over time, this robust statement has become increasingly relevant, which has resulted in research aiming to develop alpha therapy which can be used in the clinic to substantially improve outcomes for cancer patients. This is exactly what healthcare entrepreneur Jan van Bodegom, MD will present at the 3rd Annual Targeted Radiopharmaceuticals (TRP) Summit in Berlin between 7 and 9 December 2021.

In the University of Warwick and King’s College London, the FIELD-LAB of NRG has found its first international partners. Despite the significant barriers created by both the COVID-pandemic and Brexit, researchers and scientists on both sides of the Channel managed to get things started and hope to present exciting new findings in due time. Dr Cinzia Imberti, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Warwick, UK and Nora Klaassen, project manager R&D at Field-Lab, Petten, the Netherlands, shed some light on how this collaboration started and its hopes for the future.

The market for lutetium-177 is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. There are many products in the clinical pipeline that use lutetium-177 as radioactive substance, and we are seeing new, up-and-coming therapies. A promising agent is lutetium-177 PSMA, which acts on the prostate-specific membrane antigen and is used in the treatment of metastasised prostate cancer. In addition to prostate carcinomas, other cancers could be treated with the isotope lutetium-177 in the future. Prof. Hendrikse of Amsterdam UMC, VUmc location, foresees expanding possibilities for patient treatment despite some issues related to market availability.

For the past few months, pharmacist Jeske Hendriksen has been working as a PhD student in the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, where she is conducting research into radioactive cisplatin in the CISSPECT project. In this project, she is working alongside technical physician Else Aalbersberg, who has been at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek for 8 years and involved in the CISSPECT project since the start.

FIELD-LAB is the incubator for new nuclear medicines. Together with partners FIELD-LAB develops new nuclear medicine for personalised treatment of cancer patients.

Despite many innovative developments in nuclear medicine, bringing the nuclear end product to the physician and thus the patient, remains a long-term and (therefore) often frustrating mission. Hopefully, this will not be the case any longer, according to physicist dr. Mark Konijnenberg of the department Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.