From the very beginning that nuclear medicine started looking into using lutetium for therapeutic purposes, NRG has been involved as important irradiator of this isotope. Moreover, NRG has been at the cradle of the development of Lu-177 for the treatment of NET tumours.
In the High Flux Reactor both carrier added and no carrier added lutetium-177 can be produced. FIELD-LAB is developing a process to turn the radioactive isotope n.c.a. Lu-177 into a chloride. The liquid can be used in the development of different radiopharmaceuticals.
Karlijn van der Schilden
R&D Manager Medical Isotopes
An example of a promising treatment currently under investigation is lutetium-177-PSMA for treatment in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The advantage of this form of targeted radiation is that the damage is very local, and the damage to surrounding tissue is limited.
Around the world, more and more cases of NET tumours are registered. In 2017, the EMA approved Lu-177-Dotate (based on Lu-177 c.a.), which can be used to treat this type of tumour. The Food and Drug Authority recognized it a year later. As there are significant advantages to no-carrier added lutetium-177, additional solutions are being developed and tested to treat NET tumours.
With approximately 70% of all forms of kidney cancer, ccRCC is the most common malignancy in kidneys. A number of Dutch UMC’s have been involved with clinical tests that are evaluating the effect of radioactive lutetium-177 n.c.a. in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer.
Lutetium-177 is a very versatile isotope, and worldwide numerous clinical trials are being held, studying the effects of this isotope. The indications range from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to meningioma and liver cancers. Health and science institutions around the world are trying to develop solutions for various diseases, using Lu-177.
Currently, Lu-177 is dominating the clinical pipeline regarding the innovation of radiopharmaceuticals. Researchers have found numerous possible applications for this radio isotope.
We hope that in the future, many patients with different types of cancer, can be treated with radiopharmaceuticals based on lutetium-177.
What are the advantages of Lu-177 n.c.a. over Lu-177 c.a.?
Over the past years, NRG has facilitated different research projects. For example, we were able to contribute to research from Erasmus MC by developing a separation process for them. This was necessary for the production of the now registered Lutetium-177-Dotatate. NRG also supplied the required lutetium chloride during the length of the study. The project has led to an effective treatment for patients with NET tumours.
Through FIELD-LAB we want to continue contributing to the development of new solutions for patients with life-threatening diseases. Developing a GMP process for n.c.a. Lu-177 chloride and making this substance available for research parties will contribute to this.
Due to prioritising at current suppliers, it can be difficult for UMC’s and smaller research parties to get their hands on lutetium-177 chloride (n.c.a.). FIELD-LAB is able to produce smaller batches of this key medical ingredient, which makes us an excellent partner for parties performing clinical or preclinical research.
FIELD-LAB’s goal is to speed up the innovation of nuclear drugs and medical devices for cancer treatment. Through supply of small batches of radiochemicals and radio isotopes, we meet the need of Bio Pharma scientists and start-up ventures for research materials. This will drive their ambitions to develop a new drug.
NRG has the facilities and decades of experience to irradiate the target material. FIELD-LAB’s advanced laboratories are well-furnished with equipment and dedicated personnel to process radioisotopes into radiochemicals. Processing on site has multiple benefits, including efficient transportation through the available NRG nuclear infrastructure.
We are looking to provide bio pharma and scientific partners with Lu-177 chloride (n.c.a.) and support their pre-clinical and clinical studies in the development of Lu-177 radiopharmaceuticals. These partners can range from (academic) hospitals to commercial start-ups.