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Unfolding Insights into Ga-68 Radiopharmaceuticals


Production of Ga-68 radiopharmaceuticals under good practice in a hot cell. (Photo: A. Jalilian/IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will host a webinar on Production and Quality Control of Cyclotron Based Ga-68 Radiopharmaceuticals on 29 May, 2024, from 14:00 to 16:00 CET. This online panel aims to delve into the realm of Gallium-68 (Ga-68) drugs produced by particle accelerators, specifically cyclotrons.

The focus will be on Ga-68, a diagnostic radioisotope integral to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for medical imaging. Ga-68 is the essential component of prostate, ovarian and other cancers that radiopharmaceuticals use for diagnosis. Ga-68 is typically derived from its parent radionuclide, Germanium-68 (Ge-68), through a dispensing system known as the Ge-68/Ga-68 generator.

In recent years, this generator has become expensive and less available, making it difficult to meet the global demand for medical radioisotopes. In 2018, numerous Member States reached out to the IAEA to address this concern. Subsequently, the IAEA organized a Consultancy Meeting to tackle the issue and in early 2019, a Tec-Doc publication was issued, garnering substantial downloads.

In response to Member States' continued requests for increased support in knowledge transfer, a new Coordinated Research Project (CRP) was developed during a Consultancy Meeting in mid-2019. Recognizing the challenges faced by Member States in acquiring Ga-68 due to cost and availability issues, the IAEA launched the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) titled Production of Cyclotron-based Gallium-68 Radioisotope and Related Radiopharmaceuticals in 2020.

The upcoming webinar stems from the collaborative efforts of 14 Member States from four continents participating in the CRP, addressing the challenges posed by the evolving landscape of Ga-68 radiopharmaceutical production using a medical cyclotron. The event will offer valuable insights and foster international collaboration in this crucial area. Experts, researchers, and professionals from the medical and nuclear science fields will gather to discuss the advancements in the production and quality control of cyclotron produced Ga-68 radiopharmaceuticals.

The virtual event will serve as a global platform for participants to actively participate in this important discussion. Simultaneously, a comprehensive IAEA Tec-Doc is currently in preparation, facilitated by the expertise of this panel team, to cater to individuals who were unable to join the previous Coordinated Research Project (CRP).

Register for the webinar here

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