Holmium-166 is a short-lived medical radioisotope, with a half-life of 26,8 hours. This means that after a day, it has lost almost half of its radioactivity. This makes an efficient production, handling, and logistics challenging. NRG has an advanced nuclear infrastructure, which ensures fast delivery to its destination.
More information about holmium-166
Primary liver cancer and liver metastases
Ho-166 can be used in the treatment of primary liver cancer and liver metastases. NRG irradiates the holmium microspheres and supplies these as basic material to Quirem Medical. Then, our customer processes them into QuiremSpheres™. Radio embolisation treatment with holmium is unique. Firstly, the emitted beta radiation has therapeutic effects. And additionally, the gamma radiation and the paramagnetic effects of holmium allow for imaging with a SPECT or MRI scanner. This way, the correct placement of the isotope at the site of the tumour can be monitored.
When Ho-166 decays, it emits beta and gamma radiation. This makes it suitable for both diagnostics (imaging) and treatment.
It’s most recent application is in radio embolisation: a form of therapy where tiny particles, so called “microspheres”, with Ho-166 are directly delivered to the tumour site through a catheter. The gamma rays can be used to monitor delivery of the radioisotope to the correct location of the disease. The paramagnetic effects of holmium make it possible to use it in MRI, magnetic resonance imaging. And finally, the beta rays will attack the cancer cells.
Both Y-90 and Ho-166 are being used for radio embolisation. The radioactive microspheres can be used for the treatment of HCC or liver metastases. The medical devices on the market each have their own properties, regarding specific activity, traceability in the body, and size of the microsphere.
As the radioisotope has a half-life of approximately 26,8 hours only, logistics are an essential part of our services for this product: the product has to reach the patient in time to be optimally effective. Our whole organisation, from order intake to the logistics department and all production steps in between, are lined up to ensure a speedy delivery.