Belgian nuclear research centre SCK CEN and the National Institute for Radioelements (IRE) have announced plans to scale up the production of lutetium-177 (Lu-177). The radioisotope is promising for the treatment of prostate cancer, among other things.
“Radioisotopes can make a difference not only in medical imaging, but also in targeted therapies. As global players in their manufacturing, we need to recognise those dynamics and enable further development of emerging therapeutic radioisotopes,” said Erich Kollegger, CEO of IRE.
“Over the past two years, we have done a lot of research and development work to fully improve our innovative production method of pure lutetium-177. Now we are ready to transform our own research into a large-scale production line. In this way, we are increasing the range and giving many cancer patients access to effective treatment and thus to life-saving care,” said Eric van Walle, Director General of SCK CEN.
The need for lutetium-177 is expected to increase exponentially: from 16,000 patients in 2020 to 138,000 patients in 2026, SCK CEN said.
Photo: Belgium's SCK CEN and the National Institute for Radioelements are going to start the large-scale production of lutetium-177 (Photo: SCK CEN)