SCK CEN and IRE Ready To Start Lutetium-177 Large-Scale Production

SCK CEN (ENS Corporate Member) and the National Institute for Radioelements (IRE) are going to start the large-scale production of lutetium-177.

This decision opens up opportunities for cancer patients. Lutetium-177 is currently used in hospitals to treat neuroendocrine tumours. Neuroendocrine cells are found primarily in the organs of the digestive system, including the stomach, pancreas and intestines.

Among other things, lutetium-177 is a very promising radioisotope used in the fight against prostate cancer and dozens of other applications in the near future.

The production facility will be located on the premises of SCK CEN in Mol, while the second production facility would then be located on the IRE premises in Fleurus.

Construction will begin in the autumn of 2022 and be completed in 2024. It is possible that a second increase in capacity will be made available later.

The two partners are also working on a plan to accelerate production in case of increasing demand.

Indeed, the need for lutetium-177 is expected to grow exponentially: from 16,000 patients in 2020 to 138,000 patients in 2026.

Read the full SCK CEN Press Release.

The European Nuclear Society recently organised the webinar “Radioisotopes for life. Ensuring European supply – Stakeholders and opportunities”, in collaboration with Euratom Supply AgencySCK CEN (both ENS Members), PALLAS and the EU Commission DG ENER.

Presentations ranged from the European Observatory on the Supply of Medical Radioisotopes to the SAMIRA Action Plan and the European Radioisotope Valley Initiative. The discussion then moved to the current activities of an operating research reactor producing these life-savings radioisotopes (BR2 – SCK CEN) and to the future project for a new facility (PALLAS reactor).

Following the profitable exchange of inspiring ideas and experiences, all the guests stressed again the crucial role those medical radioisotopes play in beating cancer and on the necessity to secure reliable, stable production and supply chain for the future.

Read the webinar’s summary and watch the recording on ENS YouTube Channel.