- The country’s biggest cyclotron facility that will produce radioisotopes vital for diagnosis and treatment of cancer has become operational.
- Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care. Radiations from these isotopes are used to destroy cancer cells.
- The machine – Cyclone-30 — is housed at the Kolkata-based Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and will start regular production by mid-next year after supporting nuclear systems are commissioned and regulatory clearances are obtained.
- This facility will provide for affordable radio isotopes and related radiopharmaceuticals for the entire country especially, for eastern India and also have export potential for Germanium-68 and Gallium-68 generator for in-situ production of Gallium-68 and Palladium-103 isotopes, used for breast cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer treatment, respectively.
- With increasing number of Indians diagnosed with cancer every year, the cyclotron machine will produce radioisotopes for nuclear imaging specifically for cancer detection.
- At present, many radioisotopes are imported while some are produced in nuclear research reactors such as the Apsara at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and remaining in cyclotrons facilities run by large private hospitals. The addition of Cyclone-30 will increase the availability of radioisotopes and bring down the cost of treatment.
Sources: the hindu.