Physicians - attendees of the 25th Annual EANM (European Association of Nuclear Medicine) Congress (October 27-31, Milan) - expressed their continuing interest in and recognition for Tektrotyd, a radiopharmaceutical responsible for significant progress in diagnostics/therapy of neuroendocrine tumours.
Tektrotyd kits containing 99mTc radioisotope have been manufactured in NCBJ POLATOM Radioisotopes Centre in Świerk since 2005. They are highly valued in treatment of neuroendocrine tumours since they increase efficacy of therapy of these difficult to cure cancer types. These peculiar cancers develop on endocrine cells dispersed all over the human body. Majority of the tumours locate themselves within alimentary canal and/or in pancreas. As soon as 10 minutes after intravenous injection of Tektotryd, 99mTc starts to accumulate in cancer cells. The best images of tumours may be observed between 2nd and 4th hour of the test. The test is particularly useful in case of inactive neuroendocrine tumours that do not manifest themselves with any clinical symptoms. In the past such tumours were usually undiagnosed until a very late phase when they were already accompanied by numerous metastases. The injected radioisotope is soon excreted from the patient body with urine, giving no side effects. The procedure is relatively simple and patients may be administered the radioisotope without any need to stay in hospital.
„Synthetic eight-amino-acid Tyr3-octreotide peptide is an active substance in the medicine developed by us. A nicotinic acid hydrazide molecule bound to the peptide makes possible to label the substance with the 99mTc (technetium) radioisotope"-explains Dr. Renata Mikołajczak, NCBJ POLATOM Director Proxy - „Since cancer cells of neuroendocrine tumours exhibit an increased expression of somatostatin receptors, the active substance preferentially binds with them. Radiation emitted by decaying atoms of the technetium-99m label is detected to precisely localize the tumour and its metastases. Such images help physicians to assess how extensive the neoplasm processes are and to optimize treatment of the patient".
Technetium-99m is produced in 99Mo/99mTc radionuclide generators in decays of atoms of the molybdenum-99 isotope. The latter is produced by means of a multi-stage processing of uranium-235 containing targets irradiated in research reactors such as the MARIA reactor operated in NCBJ. In Świerk the uranium targets are irradiated in some specially designed reactor channels.
„Uranium targets are irradiated for 140 hours to reach the desired molybdenum-99 activity. Once the irradiation cycle is completed, the targets are shipped to the Netherlands for special multi-stage processing applied to produce molybdenum-99. The latter isotope decays to technetium 99m, which is used to label active substance of the 99mTc-Tektrotyd radiopharmaceutical" - explains Janusz Jaroszewicz, NCBJ Coordinator for Irradiations - „The technology of producing technetium-99m is an excellent example of practical application of research reactors in nuclear medicine to save hundreds of thousands of human lives".
Effectiveness of the 99mTc-Tektrotyd kit in unquestionable as confirmed by many scientific reports. The reports have been verified by the market: the radiopharmaceutical has been positively evaluated by clinicians and attracts plenty of interest home and abroad.
„The just concluded in Milan EANM Congress is for us another confirmation that the accepted strategy to manufacture Tektrotydis effective"- points out Dr. Dariusz Socha, NCBJ POLATOM Director - „Our product is among just three in the world so-far registered medicines based on peptide analogues as carriers of radioisotope labels".
Awards granted to NCBJ POLATOM Radioisotope Centre for development and manufacture of Tektrotyd include Minister of Science and Education Honourable Mention (2006), 2008 Innovation of the Year Contest Prize Winner, 2008 Polish Product of the Future Contest Honourable Mention, Gold Medal at the INNOVA 58th International Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technologies (Brussels, 2009).