The Saskatchewan Centre
for Cyclotron Sciences

New cyclotron supplies FDG to Royal University Hospital in Canada

June 29, 2016
by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter
The Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences in Canada is now supplying Royal University Hospital with FDG-based radioisotopes for PET/CT exams — marking the end of the facility’s three-year capital project.

“It will allow the hospital to increase the number of patients they can see on a regular basis,” Matthew Dalzell, partnership manager at Fedoruk Centre, which operates the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences, told HCB News. “Before that, our supplies had to be flown in, which means it was subject to the vagaries of air travel.”

The hospital previously received radioisotopes from Hamilton, Ontario, which is about 1,794 miles away. Now that the cyclotron is on the campus, the clinic is open earlier and there will be fewer missed appointments due to transport delays.

The radioisotopes will also be used for Parkinson’s disease research, to understand how it develops and the effectiveness of different treatment options. The cyclotron is able to produce fluorodopa, which is used for looking at neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s.

Researchers at the university will also be radiolabeling antibodies to investigate tailored treatments and ways to diagnose cancer, like drug-resistant forms of breast cancer. The antibody can point out the cancer cells that are resistant to initial chemotherapy.

“It lights [the cells] up, which gives someone the opportunity to assess treatment and also realize that they need to use different forms of treatment,” said Dalzell.

Hospitals all over North America have their own cyclotrons, but what makes this cyclotron unique is that it can be used for research.

“There are turnkey solutions that are basically cyclotrons in a box that you can buy, that allow you to produce FDG, but that’s about all it lets you produce,” said Dalzell.

The Fedoruk Centre is currently working toward getting a drug establishment license from Health Canada so they can supply radioisotopes to other hospitals in the area. They are looking to be either a direct or back-up supplier.