Leveraging our expertise in the fight against cancer
So far, radioisotopes are used frequently in nuclear medicine for diagnostics purposes. The radioactive substance administered to the patient circulates with carrier molecules throughout the body and accumulates in diseased cells. The radioactive substance lights up under isotope scanning, which makes it possible to detect and locate aberrations.
However, nuclear medicine has reached a tipping point. Over the past years, targeted treatments are on the rise. In targeted radionuclide therapy, a carrier molecule brings a radioactive isotope very accurately to the cancer cells. As soon as the molecule attaches to the cell, the radioactive isotope can irradiate the cancer cell. This will corrupt the tumor cell’s DNA, causing it to shrinkage and eventually die.
Taking into account that 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths were registered in 2018 and these rates will increase, the use of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals is expected to grow. Targeted radiotherapy will be available as personalized medicine in oncology, tailored for each individual patient and able to be combined with other available treatment strategies.
The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN), which has been contributing considerably to the fight against cancer, will increase its efforts with NURA - a nuclear medical centre of excellence. By clustering its knowhow and expertise within the field of radiopharmaceuticals, SCK•CEN contributes to development of the next generation of therapeutic radiopharmceuticals. More specifically, SCK•CEN carries out groundbreaking research into radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of different types of cancer, commissioned by clinical and industrial partners.
Do you want to know more about our ambition? Take a closer look at NURA's three pillars: