In 2018, SCK•CEN worked twice as hard in the fight against cancer by creating NURA, a nuclear medical centre of excellence. The research centre explained its ambitious plans in great detail at a side event on nuclear medicine during the 63rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The side event attracted lots of attention.
On Monday 16 September, the 63rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started. During this annual assembly, the Member States of the IAEA gather in Vienna to discuss the policy and programs for the upcoming year. This four-day conference is filled with plenary sessions, meetings, inspiring visits and other side events.
The theme of one of this side events was nuclear medicine. “Nuclear medicine from the lab to the patient: a look into all the recent and innovative contributions of Belgium. NURA is also part of this”, explains Eric van Walle, Director-General of SCK•CEN. Thanks to NURA, SCK•CEN will perform groundbreaking research into radiopharmaceuticals to treat different types of cancer, on behalf of clinical and industrial partners. “Targeted radionuclide therapy is becoming increasingly popular. The need for therapeutic radioisotopes is therefore high”, states Dennis Elema, project leader at SCK•CEN. “We will support our clinical and pharmaceutical partners in the development of these very promising radiopharmaceuticals, we will become a stable supplier and will continue to strengthen research into medical applications.”
SCK•CEN’s spin-off also joining in
The side event was a real success. Many people took interest and participated in the session to share knowledge, make new contacts and get to know ambitious projects. DoseVue, a spin-off of SCK•CEN, was also discussed. DoseVue has developed DoseWire, a technology that makes it possible to measure radiation doses quickly and accurately in patient’s tissues. This technology uses optical fibre. In 2019, the Limburg’s investment company LRM and Innovation Fund acquired shares in DoseVue. “That allows us to further optimise DoseWire to use it on patients and carry out studies that are necessary for market certification. We want to take on a major role in radiation treatment of various cancers”, concludes Emiliano d’Agostino, CEO of DoseVue. The first version of DoseWire, with the CE marking, is already on the market and used for non-clinical applications.