Mikhail Batkov: The programme for development of nuclear medicine in Russia may be confirmed in the beginning of December 2011
The program for development of nuclear medicine in Russia may be confirmed in the beginning of December, as Mikhail Batkov, the Director of Radiation Technologies Program of Rosatom State Corporation has told RIA News.
‘Together with our colleagues from branch ministries and authorities we have prepared the project for development of nuclear medicine in Russia that allows to solve a number or serious problems, such as quality and quantity upgrade of diagnostics and treatment of oncological and cardiological diseases; modernization and renovation of equipment in medical institutions; specialist training. Implementation of the program will lead to the radiopharmaceutical market expansion due to increase of order volumes. The prices of the products will go down.’
The program is expected to be confirmed in December, said Mr. Batkov. According to him, the perspectives for the isotope market development will be discussed on the 7th International Conference on Isotopes that opened on the 5th of September in Moscow.
Mr. Batkov reminded that Rosatom possesses strong technological background because in Soviet times radiation technologies developed rapidly and were used in all spheres of national economics.
‘We have accumulated solid experience, we possess professional specialists, we have potential, knowledge and experience for successful development of this branch’ – said Mr. Batkov.
The representative also announced that Rosatom has reduced the prices for radiopharmaceuticals delivered to the local market. ‘We received complaints from patients and medical institutions about the high prices of the radiopharmaceuticals. Our company has taken necessary measures for price reduction and starting from last summer, the prices for technetium generators and radiopharmaceuticals containing iodine-131 are sold at reduced prices’ - he said. According to what he said, for further price reduction is it necessary to increase the sales volume. ‘We have shipped 4 batches of Mo99. Due to scheduled preventive works at the reactor in Obninsk, Mo99 isotope is being supplied to the local market. We are now performing technological adjustment of production and we are on schedule approved by the Presidential Committee. Nordion is preparing to certify the products. So, we can say, that the project is being developed’ – he added.
The Rosatom representative estimated the chances of Russia to occupy a certain part of the international market of Mo99 supplies to be quite high. ‘The whole production of Mo99 is under contract with Nordion. I think that Russia can achieve 20% share of the international market of Mo99 supplies in 1.5 – 2 years’ time’ – Mr. Batkov remarked. The General Agreement for strategic partnership between JSC Isotope (supplier of isotope products to local and international markets) and MDS Nordion of Canada has been signed on the 23rd of September 2010. Molybdenum-99 is the main isotope used for medical purposes. It decays into short-lived technetium-99 that helps to perform up to 30 million treatment procedures every year (80% of all diagnostic procedures with the use of radionuclides).
Radionuclides are used in oncology, cardiology and neurology for making diagnostics and treatment more precise. Rosatom State Corporation is planning to start mass production of molybdenum-99 at the base of SSC Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad.
At the moment, enterprises of Rosatom produce 22% of all industrial isotopes in the world. Russia’s share in production of such isotopes as helium-3 and nickel-63 is 100%. JSC Isotope is an authorized company of Rosatom State Corporation in the field of isotope supplies. MDS Nordion is a global company with its headquarters in Canada that specializes in innovative technologies in medicine and radiotherapy. Founded in 1946, MDS Nordion produces a wide spectrum of products used for manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals (diagnostics of heart diseases and different forms of cancer), as well as produces and supplies molybdenum-99, iodine-131, iodine-125, cobalt-60 and other medical isotopes. It also produces equipment for sterilization of medical surgery devices and instrumentation, food and cosmetic products.
There are more than 100 subdivisions of radionuclide diagnostics in Russia where in vivo research is carried out, more than 200 laboratories for in vitro radioimmunological blood analysis and only 1 specialized department for radionuclide therapy. By international standards, every multifield hospital should be equipped with a diagnostics department, and every large oncological centre – with a treatment section.
Nowadays more than 130 different radiodiagnostic methods are used worldwide. They are performed on modern equipment and with the use of different radiodiagnostic products.
Leading research centres in Russia use no more than 30 methods.