Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Worldwide isotope shortage continues to pose significant challenges

11.09.2009
SNM survey of nuclear pharmacies finds patient rescheduling, delayed tests

SNM recently conducted a survey of nuclear pharmacies—pharmacies that supply the critical radioisotope Technetium-99m, which is used in more than 16 million nuclear medicine tests each year in the United States—to assess, anecdotally, the impact of the worldwide medical isotope shortage. According to the survey, 60 percent of radiopharmacies have been impacted by the most recent shortage. Technetium-99m is a product of Molybdenum-99, which has been in short supply recently.

Nuclear physicians and pharmacists are making changes to cope with the shortage, while striving to provide patients with the highest levels of care possible. For example, 75 percent of physicians are rescheduling patient tests by at least one day. In more than one out of three of these cases, tests have been delayed for longer than one month.

"This situation is untenable," said Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A, chair of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Task Force. "Nuclear scans and procedures that use Tc-99m are used to detect and diagnose many common cancers and cardiac conditions."

"In some cases, waiting even a day can severely impact care, especially if the condition is progressing rapidly," said Michael M. Graham, M.D., Ph.D., president of SNM. "Getting information early on in the disease progression is critical, and is one of the real benefits of molecular imaging."

In addition to delays, more than 80 percent of nuclear physicians and specialists are decreasing the dosage, which can lead to "longer exposure and less effective imaging scans," added Atcher.

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is a medical isotope derived from Mo-99 which is produced in reactors. Only six reactors in the world produce Mo-99 that is approved for use in the US. These reactors undergo routine maintenance. Recently, however, they have been experiencing chronic mechanical issues due to the age of the reactors and extended operation beyond their expected lifetime. When one reactor goes unexpectedly offline, this creates a limited supply of Mo-99, which is critically needed for nuclear medicine procedures. The most recent extended shortage began in May 2009, when the NRU reactor in Chalk River, Canada—the world's largest reactor that produces Mo-99—went off-line. The situation has been exacerbated by the recent announcement that the NRU reactor will remain off-line at least through 2010.

While the shortage began three months ago, radiopharmacists are increasingly feeling pressure to find alternative agents to offset the Mo-99 shortage. A recent outage of a second reactor for planned maintenance made the shortage worse.

"Radiopharmacists are doing the best they can with the limited resources at their disposal," said Jeffrey P. Norenberg, Pharm.D., Executive Director of the National Association of Nuclear Pharmacies and a member of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Task Force. "But clearly, patients deserve better because better agents like Tc-99m exist. Governments should work together to prevent such shortages from ever happening again."

There are no reactors in the United States that produce Mo-99, making the isotope shortage especially acute. Nuclear medicine experts are trying to keep up with demand, while using less effective products. "It's a juggling act," Atcher said.

About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy

SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.

SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snm.org.

About The National Association of Nuclear Pharmacies

The National Association of Nuclear Pharmacies (NANP) is a non-profit trade association founded in 1984, comprised of over 400 hundred nuclear pharmacies and includes the majority of the pharmacies that prepare and distribute radiopharmaceuticals in the United States. For more information, visit www.nanp.net.

Amy Shaw | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.snm.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>