Oct 19, 2012
Cape Town lab commissions cyclotron to manufacture FDGBack
Cape Town|Construction|Engineering|SECURITY|Africa|Energy|IThemba LABS|NTP Radioisotopes|Nuclear|Nuclear Energy Corporation|Security|Siemens|Africa|South Africa|Panorama Medical Centre|Security|Tygerberg Facility|Tygerberg Hospital|Energy|Equipment|Nuclear|Product|Security|Cancer|Cancers|Disease|Radiation Treatment|Eastern Cape|Western Cape|Annare Ellmann|Clive Naidoo|Infrastructure|Security|Eastern Cape|Radiation|Radiopharmaceuticals|Tomography
© Reuse this
The cyclotron was installed and commissioned at iThemba LABS’ Faure site just outside of Cape Town during September and would be used to manufacture the radiopharmaceutical 18F Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), the first FDG product already having been produced on September 26.
FDG is the most common radiopharmaceutical used to carry out positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, a technique which is used in the diagnosis of a number of cancers and allows for treatment guidance and management of the disease.
NTP Radioisotopes is a subsidiary of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa and has its main production facility at Pelindaba, in the North West province. It is the key South African supplier of FDG.
However, as FDG has a half-life of just under 110 minutes, NTP Radioistotopes has had a six-year collaboration with iThemba Labs to produce the radiopharmaceutical to supply local PET facilities in the Western and Eastern Cape.
Earlier in 2012, the opening of a new positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) centre situated at Tygerberg Hospital increased demand on FDG production at iThemba LABS, which has prompted the acquisition of the new Siemens 11 MeV cyclotron to ensure better security of supply.
While NTP Radioisotopes purchased the cyclotron at a cost of approximately R10-million, iThemba LABS provided the R2-million that was required to construct the infrastructure to house the cyclotron, as while the new cyclotron is self-shielding, the construction of a vault-like facility with reinforced flooring was still required.
Both stakeholders hoped the new facility would be able to meet the demand for FDG in the Western Cape for the next 15 to 20 years. At present there were only two cancer diagnostic infrastructure centres in the Western Cape requiring FDG, these being the Tygerberg facility and the Cape PET/CT Centre situated in the Panorama Medical Centre.
The new cyclotron would allow for the production of the FDG five days a week and would consequently reduce the demand on the main 200 MeV accelerator at iThemba LABS which had up until September been producing the FDG supply for the region. At present the 200 MeV cyclotron’s time is divided equally between radioisotope production, physics research and medical radiation treatment.
Dr Annare Ellmann, executive head of nuclear medicine at Tygerberg Hospital was excited about the facility. “The benefits that this brings to our patients one cannot really express, they are so multiple. On the one side for the regular oncology patients, our regular other chemical patients . . . but also specifically in the academic sector the value that we can add to research,” she said.
Speaking to Engineering News Online, iThemba LABS head of radionuclide production Dr Clive Naidoo, said the 11 MeV cyclotron would also have the capacity to support the production of other 18F radiopharmaceuticals such as 18F-DOPA and 18F-fallypride for use in medical diagnosis.
The operation of the equipment will be undertaken by Naidoo’s existing staff complement and no additional personnel have been required. According to Naidoo, the equipment is on the whole easier to maintain than iThemba LABS larger cyclotrone with maintenance periods of only two weeks required every six months, which is significantly less than that required by the 200 MeV facility which can add up to a few months each year, he said.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 1 hour 1 minute ago Changes had to be made in South Africa’s water and sanitation sector to ensure challenges were resolved effectively, as well as to fast-track the country’s socioeconomic transformation, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told delegates at the 2014...
Updated 1 hour 18 minutes ago Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has confirmed that the reline project at its Newcastle mill, in KwaZulu-Natal, has hit snags and that the project, which was initially expected to be completed four months after the May 12 shutdown began, will be...
Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago The World Trade Organization failed on Thursday to reach a deal to standardise customs rules, which would have been the first global trade reform in two decades but was blocked by India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling. "We have not been able to...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...