Laboratory for nuclear farmacie for Cyclotron Rotterdam B.V. constructed in 2014 – 2015 on the compound of the Erasmus MC. Cyclotron Rotterdam B.V. will produce here radionuclides, with a cyclotron (particle accelerator). Subsequently, radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive drugs) can be made with radiopharmaceuticals, for patientcare and research. The presence and location of, for example tumors, can be detected with radiopharmaceuticals.
Usually, radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic research have a short half-life. This means, that the amount of radioactivity of these radiopharmaceuticals decreases rapidly. By making these radiopharmaceuticals on the compound of the Ermasmus MC itself, the risks of transport, such as delay, whereby potentially too little radioactivity is left over for the planned patient investigations, disappear.
With it’s own cyclotron, radiopharmaceuticals can be made which have such a short half-life, that they can’t be bought. Furthermore, with a wider variety of radiopharmaceuticals, there is greater range – for example at diagnostic Cardiology studies – and new research methods can be developed.
The cyclotron itself is a fairly small device of 1.3 x 1.2 x 1.9 meters, surrounded by a shield. The radioactive radiation is mostly stopped by this shield. To stop the small leftovers radioation, the cyclotron is placed in a bunker with 500 mm concrete around. Only when the cyclotron is activated, radio activity will be created.
In the preparation areas, the actual radioactive medicine is created, from the radioactive basis substance that comes from the cyclotron. This happens in so-called hotcells, a kind of safety storage cabinets (the product is protected against bacteria and particles), which is coverded with lead (hereby, the preparer is protected from the radioactive radiation). There will be equipment in the hotcells, with which the preparation of various drugs will be produced as much as possible automatic. Finally, the radioactive medicinal product will be packaged for transport after the preparation (internal and external).
source: Erasmus MC Scanner april 2014