PETTEN, 4th of February 2021 - NRG has delivered lutetium for the first time to an academic hospital and two pharmaceutical parties this month. Sander de Groot, program manager medical isotopes at NRG: “This isotope offers a great perspective for the effective treatment of various cancer indications and with limited side effects. Now that it’s meeting European quality requirements, we can continue to develop the process further to deliver more patient doses and enable research.”
The production process has been developed by the NRG R&D team within the FIELD-LAB framework, a collaboration between NRG and various academic hospitals and pharmaceutical partners. An initial production of 10 patient doses has been produced. Lutetium-177 is an isotope with a high perspective that can be used in the treatment of various types of cancer. The supplied lutetium-177 has been found compliant with European quality standards.
NRG has been irradiating materials in the reactor for the production of lutetium-177 for many years and is the world’s largest player in the field of irradiation services for medical isotope production. Since the summer of 2019, the FIELD-LAB R&D team has been working hard to develop its own production process for lutetium-177 no carrier added (n.c.a.). Petten is the only site in Europe where the irradiation and processing of high-quality products can take place in one location. With the complete chain present on-site, it enables reliable and economical production.
Karlijn van der Schilden
R&D Manager Medical Isotopes
This isotope can be used for various cancer indications and multiple applications are being developed. Currently, there are high expectations for the use of this isotope for the treatment of prostate cancer.
In the Netherlands, over 13.000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019. This makes up for 22% of all men who developed cancer that year. Many of them could benefit from lutetium-177-PSMA treatment. Therefore the expectation is that there will be a strong increase the coming years in the demand for lutetium-177 n.c.a. for both research purposes and treatments. NRG and FIELD-LAB aim to accelerate the development of new treatment options, by making other suitable isotopes available for research and treatment.
“This isotope offers a great perspective for the effective treatment of various cancer indications and with limited side effects. Now that it’s meeting European quality requirements, we can continue to develop the process further to deliver more patient doses and enable research.”
FIELD-LAB is a development facility for new nuclear medicines. Its purpose is to accelerate the process from development to market launch. Various partners, including biopharma researchers, start-ups and academic hospitals, are part of it and contribute together to innovative solutions aimed at the treatment of different forms of cancer. An essential aspect is making promising isotopes available for research.