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.