The 7th International Conference on Isotopes has started working
More than 400 scientists and business people from 38 countries of the world have gathered for the opening ceremony of the 7th International Conference on Isotopes held in Moscow World Trade Center.
The conference was officially opened by Sergey Kirienko, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation. Addressing the participants, Sergey Kirienko highlighted the importance of the isotope industry for nuclear medicine development in the world: “No other application of the atom has been so useful for the society. Thanks to using isotopes, doctors save hundreds, even thousands of lives every day. About 30 million diagnostic procedures are annually carried out all over the world. To meet the most important objective, that is to cure cancer, is impossible without isotope industry development.”
The volume of the world market of nuclear medicine, which is today 12 billion dollars, is estimated to reach 68 billion dollars by 2030, which is by 5.5 times. According to Sergey Kirienko, Rosatom’s strategic goal is “to have not only isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, but also medical equipment production. Ideally, we would like to provide medical services from diagnostics to treatment of cardiovascular and oncological diseases”. Mr. Kirienko explained that to meet the objectives in the field of nuclear medicine development, it has been decided to not to try to do everything ourselves, but to take the road of integration, partnership and cooperation, including creation of joint ventures to produce equipment and necessary components for research and development both in Russia and in the territories of our partners”. Sergey Kirienko says that the first agreement like that has already been signed: it is a contract with Philips to establish production of positron emission tomographs in Russia.
Rosatom’s key project, according to Mr. Kirienko, is still launch of production of Molybdenium-99. “As it was planned in summer 2011, we have launched one of the most modern production facilities of Molybdenium-99 in the Russian Federation based on the Atomic Reactor Research Institute in Dimitrovgrad, and the first consignment of Molybdenium-99 has already been supplied to Canada,” Sergey Kirienko points out.
Sergey Kirienko explained that three reactors are used to produce Molybdenium-99 simultaneously, and we can guarantee that regulations of manufacturing process or even a suspension of one of these reactors can break the uninterrupted supply of Molybdenium-99 to consumers, which is crucially important in the present day situation. In 2012 we are planning put into operation the second production line and to achieve the estimated capacity”.
According to the Director General of Rosatom, this year an unprecedented decision has been made to supply medical isotopes to Russian medical institutions at prices that hardly exceed the cost of production to stimulate the development of the domestic market.
The other participants of the opening ceremony also included Denis Manurov, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister of the Russian Federation, Parrish Staples, Director of European and African Threat Reduction of the U.S. Department of Energy, Alexander Bychkov, Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Chang Sun Kang, President of the World Council on Isotope, and Andre Demel, Commercial Director of Philips Healthcare, RUBS.
The main topic of the Moscow conference was development of nuclear medicine whose social role and investment attractiveness are growing fast. Experts forecast that within the next several years, usage of nuclear technologies in medicine will rocket, which will allow Russia to catch up with the world leaders in this field.
The agenda of the conference includes topics relevant for the whole isotope industry, such as the prospects of the world isotopes market, nuclear medicine development, production of molybdenum-99, development of international cooperation in the field of using isotopes for medicine and industry, creation of nuclear technology parks, using isotopes in agriculture and industry, producing isotopes from low enriched uranium and some others.
A special feature of the 7ICI is a separate business program, which happens for the first time in the history of the event. The Russian participants believe that the dialogue of science and business will give a new impulse to the industry development.
The conference will last for three days. Its program also includes the exhibition of the achievements in the field of isotope production. 446 participants were registered for the conference for the first day.
About the 7th ICI
The International Conference on Isotopes is the world’s largest forum for the researchers, producers and consumers of isotope products. It was first held in 1995 in Beijing, China, upon an initiative of IAEA. The Conference is held once in three years. Similar conferences have taken place in Australia, Canada, Belgium and Korea.
The organizers of the 7th ICI are: Rosatom State Corporation, Russian Academy of Sciences and JSC Isotope
The program of the Conference that brings together the representatives of science, business and production spheres includes plenary and break-out sessions, exhibition of the newest achievements in the fields of isotope production and equipment. A special business program initiated by the organizers is included into the Conference. Participants will be able to discuss the world trends of the isotope market development, the problems of investment into the isotope industry and the ways of increasing production powers.
Oncological diseases statistics
According to the World Health Organization, over 7.5 million people die of oncological diseases annually. According to the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, as of the beginning of 2009, 2.5 million patients, or 1.8% of the Russian population, were registered in Russian oncology centers. Over the past ten years the number of cancer patients has increased by 25% and it keeps growing by 1.5% annually. Over 480 thousand new oncological patients are diagnosed in Russia every year. According to the experts, in Russia the demand in radiation detection and radionuclide therapy is satisfied by no more than 1-3%, the demand in PET (positron emission tomography) scanning – by only 1-5%. Specialists believe that Russia needs at least 140 centers capable of providing diagnostics services. According to international standards, at least every multi-field hospital has to have such diagnostics units.
For comparison: in the US there are over 2 thousand PET centers. In other developed countries there is one PET center for every 500 thousand people. In Europe, PET centers allow to diagnose 80% patients at the first and second stages of the disease, which helps to save their lives. Thanks to early diagnosis of cancer, annual death rate in the US decreases by 1%.
Molybdenum-99 is used to receive the short-lived isotope technetium-99m, which is used in 80% of all diagnostics procedures in nuclear medicine, or 30 million procedures per year. The molybdenum demand in the world market is currently up to 25%. Since 2010 Rosatom State Corporation has been implementing the project to establish molybdenum-99 production. The investment in the project totals 1 billion RUR (about 35 million dollars).
Rosatom State Corporation takes part in developing technology clusters in Dimitrovgrad of the Ulyanovsk region, St. Petersburg and Obninsk. Within the framework of nuclear medicine development in Dimitrovgrad, Rosatom State Corporation is implementing a project to develop molybdenum-99 production for nuclear medicine supported by the President of the Russian Federation Executive Committee for Modernization and Technological Development. In 2013, the first high technology medical center opens in Dimitrovgrad. This project is implemented by the Federal Medical and Biological Agency with the support of the Ulyanovsk region Government. The similar medical center is planned to be created in Obninsk by 2016.
Isotopes are used not only in nuclear medicine, but also in industry, nondestructive testing systems, science, geologic exploration, agriculture and even space development. Over 80 different articles of food are exposed to radiation in 69 countries of the world, including many developed ones. This procedure is harmless to human health, as the exposure dose is extremely small. In every country there is a list of food products subject to gamma-ray sterilization. For example, in Germany and Great Britain such procedure is used for all food served in hospitals, in Canada it is used for fish, chicken, wheat flour, onion, potatoes and spices. Similarly, medical equipment is exposed to radiation in different countries. In USA this procedure is applied even to government correspondence after in 2001 some letters were infected by antharax germs. Mercury-244 is used in space equipment in the moon, Mars and Venus.