Every Australian is likely to benefit from nuclear medicine and on average will have at least two nuclear medicine procedures in their lifetime.
Around 75-80 per cent of radioisotopes used in these nuclear medicine procedures in Australia, come from ANSTO’s Lucas Heights campus in Sydney.*
What should you expect during a nuclear medicine procedure?
Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive materials (radioisotopes) that travel through a patient’s body to the area being examined and gives off gamma rays that are detected by a camera. The image created help diagnose and understand diseases of different organs and tissues, including cancer, to improve treatment and outcomes. An increasing range of nuclear medicines are used for therapy.
What is ANSTO’s role in nuclear medicine production?
Australia is one of the very few nations in the world to produce the radioisotopes necessary for nuclear medicine procedures.
On average, ANSTO’s radioisotopes provide 10,000 - 12,000 nuclear medicine procedures that benefit Australians each week*.
ANSTO researchers are working with both Australian and international companies to develop the next generation of nuclear medicines to treat cancers and other serious illnesses. These include research into scandium-47 which can be used for both imaging and therapy and terbium-161 which may be able to treat very small cancer metastases.
Prostate cancer and melanoma
ANSTO is the supplier of non-carrier added (n.c.a) Lutetium-177 (Lu-177) used in prostate cancer and melanoma clinical trials being undertaken by ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Melanoma & Skin Cancer Trials.
ANSTO researchers are working with a Sydney-based company GlyTherix on new radioimmunotherapy treatments. Radioimmunotherapy is a combination of immunotherapy, which uses antibodies that specifically target cancer cells, and radioisotopes that can help see and kill cancer cells.
Rhenium SCT (Skin Cancer Therapy):
Non-melanoma skin cancers
ANSTO will be the manufacturing partner in Australia for OncoBeta, a Germany based company. OncoBeta’s medical device uses rhenium-188 (a Beta emitting radioisotope) to treat non-melanoma skin cancers. The OncoBeta product will be the first of its kind to be launched in Australia.
4th April, 2022
ANSTO welcomes the Australian Precision Medicine Enterprise (APME) Project announced today at ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron, bringing together funding from industry and Government to support the further development of nuclear medicines that will benefit all Australians.
14th March, 2022
Australian skin cancer patients are the first to be enrolled in a global trial of a new painless non-invasive treatment. Read more
22nd March, 2022
ANSTO Australia's nuclear science organisation at Lucas Heights is manufacturing a new cancer treatment that's delivering incredible results. It's called theranostics and it's being used to fight prostate cancer that has spread throughout the body. #ANSTO #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/T720GygDId
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney), twitter
*Based on published Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) statistics combined with non-MBS data sourced from the nuclear medicine community