PRISMAP – The European medical radionuclide programme is now active for more than a year. Tremendous work has been made to set up the whole organisation scheme, which is now effective and working every day to promote the availability of non-conventional radionuclides at the European level, and ease their use in the coming years.
This is a very important achievement as the interest and use of a radionuclide depends in part to its physical and chemical characteristics but mostly on its availability. Availability is a key concern and especially for non-conventional radionuclide that, at the beginning, are produced in a limited number of centres and interest only few end-users.
On one side, to launch the production of a novel radionuclide, as a producer, potential users are contacted. Before joining a programme, those users discuss the future availability to see if it will be compatible with a potential clinical trial in terms of activity and quality. They are also very keen on redundancy and consistency of quality among the limited number of producers. It is then often difficult to raise their interest in novel radionuclides. On the other side, when a user asks to a producer about a novel radionuclide, the latter studies the potential market and, as it is often limited at the beginning, he is reluctant to start developing it.
Thanks to PRISMAP - The European medical radionuclide programme, this chicken and egg situation can be solved. Production centres all over Europe have come together to propose novel radionuclides to interested users through a call for project standing every 6 month during the duration of the project (link to 3.4 PRISMAP’s first call and 3.5PRISMAP’s second call). For most novel radionuclides, several production centres can provide them allowing whole year availability. In parallel, in-depth work is conducted on specifications and product comparisons to ensure quality (link to 3.7 Standards for clinical translation). Having in mind the quality of service, PRISMAP’s team launched a survey to identify the needs of the scientific community through a survey (link to 3.1PRISMAP survey) and also looked to the too often forgotten aspect of transportation (link to radionuclide transport and logistics) that is very important in the case of radioactive material. Finally a strong training programme is being set-up to make researchers from physics, chemistry, biology, pharmacy, and medicine acquainted to the use to these novel radionuclides (link to 6.Training Office).
All these aspects are illustrated in the present newsletter. By working at the same time on all these aspects, we intend to make novel-radionuclides more readily available and expect to strongly support developments of molecular imaging, internal targeted therapy, and the theranostic approach in nuclear medicine.