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Molecular Imaging Homepage

New PET imaging method may yield benefits over FDG for detecting certain cancers Gallium-68-labeled FAPI tracer yields promising results

Dr. David Wong Professor recognized for contributions to PET and Theranostics

SVSR unveils Siemens Horizon PET/CT trailer Putting a small and powerful scanner on a coach

Philips to manage medical imaging equipment for Aussie providers for 20 years First-of-its-kind partnership in Australia and ASEAN Pacific region

Under AMG, Piramal Imaging changes name to Life Molecular Imaging LMI is being run within the Alliance Medical Molecular Imaging division

RadioMedix Inc. and Curium to develop and commercialize PET agent 64Cu-Dotatate for use in suspected neuroendocrine tumors

Dr. Sanjiv Gambhir Stanford’s chair of radiology wins Cassen Prize

Researchers undertake 'largest brain study' using 60,000 SPECT images Evaluate accelerated brain aging in scans

SNMMI proposes solutions to Ga-68 generator shortage Combating waiting periods of between 14 and 18 months

Tc-99m generator production resumes in Australia Follows month and a half shutdown due to conveyor belt issue

A few things can be done to curb that

'Severe' moly-99 shortage is on the horizon: NAS report

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
It's very likely that there will be a severe molybdenum-99/technetium-99m supply shortage after October 2016, according to a new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). The shortage will last at least until the current global suppliers finish their plans to expand capacity.

There was a major shortage of Mo-99 in 2009 and since then there has been skepticism about meeting future needs for Tc-99m. Because of the aging reactors outside of the U.S., there have been efforts around the world to ensure a reliable supply of the radioisotope.

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There are also ongoing efforts to eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) during Mo-99 production. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) is providing funding for research and development of domestic Mo-99 production methods that don't use HEU.

The NAS report states that 75 percent of the current global supply of Mo-99 for medical use is generated using HEU and the remaining 25 percent is produced with low enriched uranium (LEU).

Global suppliers of Mo-99 have committed to eliminating the use of HEU in reactor targets and medical isotope production facilities. But the widespread availability of Mo-99 produced with HEU is putting companies that use LEU at a competitive disadvantage.

There are currently four projects underway, supported by the NNSA, that are expected to supply half or more of the Mo-99 that the U.S. needs. But the report states that substantial domestic supplies will most likely not be available before 2018 because of technical, financial, regulatory and market challenges.

The report outlined a series of efforts that can be made to promote the use of non-HEU-produced Mo-99 and Tc-99m. It suggests that the U.S. government should continue to work with the Canadian government on a plan to restart the Canadian supply if needed.

It believes that CMS should continue to offer the $10 add-on reimbursement for Tc-99m from non-HEU sources until HEU sources are eliminated from the U.S. The agency should also assess the costs of medical procedures that use Tc-99m from non-HEU sources.

The Tc-99m generator manufacturers and nuclear pharmacies could make a stronger effort to increase the use of Mo-99 from non-HEU sources. The U.S. Congress could place a restriction or financial penalty on the importation of Mo-99 produced with HEU.

Sally W. Schwarz, president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, warned that a short-term Mo-99 shortage is a serious concern, but that producers, processors, and generator manufacturers will work with the Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers (AIPES) to manage any problems that may occur.

“The innovative, safer production methods and facilities that will be coming online over the next few years will certainly help ensure a safe, reliable supply of Mo-99," she said in a statement.

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