HFR 60th Anniversary And The Rising Demand For Radiopharmaceuticals

The demand for medical treatments is rising sharply, partly due to the increased incidence of cancer. In the past year, 115,000 new cases of cancer have been diagnosed in the Netherlands, 13,000 of which prostate cancer.

Consequently, NRG|PALLAS is seeing an increase in the demand for medical isotopes for use in nuclear medicine therapy. The production of the most commonly used isotope for targeted cancer therapy, lutetium-177, has doubled over the past year. This year, some 25,000 patients worldwide have been treated with this isotope, which was being produced in the High Flux Reactor. Lutetium-177 is primarily used in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.

Radiopharmaceuticals are vitally important. That’s why NRG|PALLAS, together with partners like AVL (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital), are working on the development of new radiopharmaceuticals in our FIELD-LAB. […] In order to meet the increasing demand for this kind of radiopharmaceuticals in the future, we will embark on the construction of an isotope production facility (the Nuclear Health Center) next year, followed by the construction of the PALLAS reactor to replace the High Flux Reactor in Petten

said Bertholt Leeftink, CEO NRG|PALLAS.

This year, the High Flux Reactor is celebrating its 60th anniversary. This reactor was commissioned in 1961 for the development of nuclear technology for energy provision. Since the 1980s, the reactor has increasingly been used for the production of medical isotopes, primarily for diagnostic applications. Nowadays, more than 30,000 patients each day are treated with medical isotopes from the High Flux Reactor.

Read the NRG Press Release.

Medical applications of nuclear technology are used all over the world. Every year, 30 million people benefit from a diagnostic procedure or treatment by nuclear medicine for at least 60 different pathologies – and these numbers are steadily increasing.

These medical applications save lives. They are now used in the fight against cancer, but also in cardiology, neurologists, pneumology and pediatrics. Or even in dentistry and veterinary medicine.

Learn more on nuclear medicine on ENS Nuclear Basics.