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Supporting the theragnostic revolution: personalised diagnostics and therapeutics

The need

New theragnostic (combining diagnostics and therapy) isotope combinations utilising diagnostic imaging for predicting molecular radiotherapy absorbed doses offer the possibility of individualised treatment optimisation. Constrained access to these isotopes prior to clinical adoption often means clinical imaging protocols for potential new isotopes are poorly optimised. Additionally, underlying activity standards and radionuclide calibrator factors are often unavailable, leading to a lack of harmonisation in clinical trial data – ultimately reducing the predicative power of such trials.

The MEDICIS (Medical Isotopes Collected from ISOLDE) facility at CERN aims to provide a wide range of novel radioisotopes, some of which can be produced only at the facility. The project is a collaborative venture between CERN, KU Leuven, EPFL and two local university hospitals which began in 2010, and has since expanded to include other institutes including NPL.

The impact

We are working with MEDICIS to provide radiochemistry support and new primary activity standards. We will also supply reference materials, calibration sources and equipment loans to the project's researchers and use our measurement expertise to aid the radiochemical separation and calibration processes, ensuring that the creation of successful products is reproducible.

Working with CERN-MEDICIS gives a unique opportunity to establish optimised imaging protocols and primary radioactivity measurements at an earlier stage of development, ensuring maximum diagnostic potential is available for future clinical-trials and establishing the traceability needed to meet legislative requirements.

The potential results of the project could meet the urgent need for finding new innovative techniques capable of treating and a wide range of cancers. At first, the process will produce radioisotopes in small batches for use in institutions local to CERN, but the vision of the project is much larger and it is hoped that it will expand to cover a large global network.