Karolinska University Hospital awards GE contract to build PET tracer production facility

16 January 2015

Karolinska University Hospital and Stockholm County Council, Sweden have awarded GE Healthcare a contract to build a complete PET tracer production facility.

The new centre will increase the hospital's production capacity by three to four times and support the development of new tracers. PET tracers are a fundamental element in PET scanning for the diagnosis and assessment of cancer. By injecting a small amount of tracer into a patient followed by a PET scan, potential cancer ‘hot spots’ can be revealed. These are the parts in the patient’s body where the distribution of tracers can be used for the assessment of metabolic activity associated with cancer.

“The wider availability of PET imaging technology and its benefits for early diagnosis and staging of diseases has grown the interest and demand for new PET tracers. We are entering a new era in molecular medicine with targeted tracers for specific diseases and personalized treatment pathways. The new centre at Karolinska will help them improve patient care,” said Karl Blight, General Manager, GE Healthcare, Northern Europe.

Besides cancer, the tracers can be used in the mapping and treatment of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, and they have an increasingly important role especially in Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain research.

The new tracer center includes two PETtrace 800 Series Cyclotron systems (for cyclotron production), 20 hot cells supporting radiation safety for personnel when they are using the equipment and fully automated and easily programmable TRACERlab FX series chemistry synthesizers that will enable the hospital to monitor the tracer production remotely. The agreement also includes a FASTlab Platform for multi-tracer production that makes the production of different tracers on the same hardware possible.

Source: GE

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