NMEU 2019-2022 newsletter
The Improbable Triennium
Brussels, July 1st, 2022
"When the newly-elected executive committee took the reins of NMEU in May 2019, they knew that there would be some challenges. This is, after all, a fast-changing world. They did not, however, expect a global event that would disrupt all the laws of communication, economy, trade and society. Indeed, no one did."
"When the Covid-19 pandemic plunged the whole world into the unknown in early 2020, we all had to be creative. We had to develop new tools and new ideas, to defend the nuclear medicine industry. We had to respond to the urgent issues facing our members and try to solve them. It was not easy, but necessity is the mother of invention."
The new NMEU Executive Committee
Brussels, June 29, 2022
The 2022-2025 Executive Committee of Nuclear Medicine Europe has been elected this Tuesday at the end of the Annual General Assembly in Brussels. Congratulations to (from left to right) the new NMEU President Mart Jan Blauwhoff (Curium Pharma), Vice-President Dr. Lutz Helmke (Eckert & Ziegler AG), Vice-President & Treasurer Dr. Konrade von Bremen (SWAN Isotopen AG), Vice-President and Secretary General Erich Kollegger (IRE - Institute for radioelements).
More details coming very soon!
Parliament’s backing for nuclear medicine is huge boost for sector
Brussels, February 23, 2022
The European Parliament’s vote to recognize nuclear medicine is a significant boost for one of Europe’s most innovative sectors, and offers new hope for cancer patients, Nuclear Medicine Europe (NMEU) says.
The recognition came at the Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg, when MEPs backed an own-initiative opinion on “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer – towards a comprehensive and coordinated strategy” (2020/2267).
How the nuclear medicine sector coordinates isotope supply
The nuclear medicine sector has an intricate system for ensuring essential medical isotopes are produced when they are needed. It involves carefully managed production schedules that take account of supply, demand and many logistical considerations around just six nuclear reactors. So, how does the system work?
Europe is the leading world supplier of medical radioisotopes and a leader in developing nuclear medicine diagnostics and treatments. The process for using this technology starts with the production of medical radioisotopes. These are isotopes produced artificially, mainly in research reactors and accelerators.
Why MEPs need to back Fiocchi’s amendments to the cancer report
Brussels, February 11, 2022
On February 15, the European Parliament plenary is scheduled to vote on an own-initiative opinion on “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer – towards a comprehensive and coordinated strategy”
However, the resolution does not mention nuclear medicine. This is despite Europe leading global research and development in nuclear medicine, and nuclear medicine’s record in saving hundreds of thousands of lives over the years. By contrast, the European Commission’s Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan recognizes nuclear medicine as the safest and most effective way to beat the disease.
In 2009, our Nuclear Medicine Awareness Working Group launched a website to raise awareness about nuclear medicine. It was set up as an educational platform for the general public and included animations. These animations quickly became popular within the medical community: they were translated and watched millions of times.
The internet has changed a lot over the past 13 years. We felt it was time to refresh the website to make these resources available to even more people. We now have a new design, optimised navigation, responsiveness, SEO optimisation and more. After a great deal of work, we are delighted to launch the new version of the website today: https://whatisnuclearmedicine.com/
NMEU and the Communications Working Group would like to thank all past members of the Awareness Working Group, Innovation Working Group, Chairwomen and Chairmen of these groups, as well as NMEU Members and friends who have contributed to this project since 2009.
Summary of the 2021 NMEU Symposium
Brussels, 17 November 2021
Nuclear medicine is already transforming the fight against cancer and other critical conditions, Portuguese MEP Maria Da Graça Carvalho told the annual Nuclear Medicine Europe (NMEU) Symposium.
The MEP told the ‘Personalised Medicine Fighting Cancer: The Promise of Nuclear Medicine’ symposium on November 17 that radiological breakthroughs offered new hope against cancers and disorders. “Nuclear medicine promises the shortest path to precision medicine and can intervene in the fight against cancer, but also in cardiac and neuropsychological disorders. It is already transforming the way diseases like cancer and mental health conditions are treated,” she said.
Lifesaving nuclear medicine applications deserve better recognition and support at EU level
Brussels, 14 June 2021
Thanks to medical applications of nuclear technology, Europe’s citizens have access to diagnostic and lifesaving treatment. That is why the European Union – in line with its Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan – should promote new research reactor capacity along with innovation in the sector and the design modification of the current fleet. According to a joint position paper issued today by FORATOM and Nuclear Medicine Europe, these and other recommendations should be implemented to maintain the current level of medical radioisotopes supply.
Read on FORATOM's website the full statement
COVID and the transport of radiopharmaceuticals
Gilles Degauque, Chairman of NMEU’s Transport Expert Working Group, asked our members five general questions about how the coronavirus affected them.
The nuclear medicine sector, like everyone else, has faced and is still facing huge challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. NMEU’s Transport Expert Group surveyed its members to find out how it has affected the transport of radioactive material, from shipment and safety to controls and audits.
Extended OPAL (Australia) reactor outage
A communication from the NMEU Security of Supply Working Group
• Brussels, 20 November 2020
The Security of Supply Working Group (SoS WG) was informed on 19 November by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) that last week, during scheduled maintenance, ANSTO observed an anomaly in a pipe connection that enters the OPAL research reactor’s riser structure. There continues to be no impact to people or radiological consequences as a result of the issue.
Staying safe, saving life
How nuclear medicine patient care continues in the COVID era
These are extraordinary times. Life as we knew it has been disrupted and we all have had to adapt to a new reality. Regardless, patients undergoing or awaiting life-changing medical treatments need to receive their critical care. The nuclear medicine sector is doing everything it can to make sure that people who most need interventions – diagnostic and therapeutic - can get them, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
2020 AGM : The Word of the President
"Dear friends and colleagues,
We are still living under extraordinary pandemic conditions, but I hope nonetheless that you are facing the challenge with courage and optimism.
Why are we meeting today? Because our legal obligations as an association require us to maintain the mandatory points on the agenda. These include the 2019 annual accounts and the 2020 budget, as well as the validation of our newcomers."
From status quo to status go
“Nuclear Medicine is based on the use of radioactivity for healthcare applications in diagnosis and therapy. Through the use of biomolecules that are labelled with radioisotopes, numerous metabolic, molecular and signalling pathways can be visualized and quantified. This information is used for diagnosis and personalized treatment planning.”
The Innovation Working Group is updating and making publicly available their Pictorial Views about Nuclear Medicine.
COVID-19 and the global supply of Mo99
• Brussels, 11 May 2020
The Security of Supply Working Group (SoS WG) Emergency Response Team (ERT) held a teleconference on 11 May 2020 and received written updates from NMEu members regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mo-99 and other radioisotope production.
The improving situation reported in the last communication of 27 April continues and supply chain organizations maintain regular operations. Air transportation options for most geographic regions continue to improve. NTP reported that it is operating below capacity as a result of remaining logisitical challenges from South Africa.
The European Parliament shows support to secure availability of radiopharmaceuticals
• Brussels, 22 April 2020
Nuclear Medicine Europe appreciates the action taken by the European Parliament with the European authorities concerned to highlight the difficulties encountered during the Covid-19 pandemic, with regard to the availability of radiopharmaceuticals.
Read the joint statement to Dr. Stella Kyriakides Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission, Dr. Thierry Breton Commissioner for Internal Market, European Commission, and Dr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director.
Short-term risk to security of supply of both bulk Mo-99 and Tc-99m generators
• Brussels, 20 April 2020
The Security of Supply Working Group (SoS WG) Emergency Response Team (ERT) held a teleconference on 20 April 2020 to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mo-99 and other radioisotope production.
All organizations (research reactors, Mo-99 producers, Tc-99m generator manufacturers, ground transportation) continue to report regular operations.
Update from the ERT
• Brussels, 15 April 2020
The Security of Supply Working Group (SoS WG) Emergency Response Team (ERT) held a teleconference on 15 April 2020 to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mo-99 and other radioisotope production.
All organizations again reported that production operations continue normally within adjustments that have been taken against COVID-19, although production is being oriented to international flight availability. Radioisotope shipments from Europe have been more stable in recent weeks and continue via the reduced number of ongoing passenger flights.
Possible impact COVID-19 on the transport of medical radioisotopes
• Luxembourg, 01 April 2020
In this capacity, ESA has been in contact with the other co-chair – industry association of nuclear medicine - Nuclear Medicine Europe (NMEu), who expressed their concerns related to the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain and in consequence on the availability of the most vital medical radioisotopes used in the nuclear medicine (namely Mo-99/Tc-99m).
Emergency Response Team
• Brussels, 24 March 2020
The Security of Supply Working Group (SoS WG) Emergency Response Team (ERT) held a teleconference on 23 March 2020 to discuss the continuing impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on Mo-99 and other isotope production. Despite increasing challenges, the Mo-99 supply chain has not yet experienced any significant disruptions, though all levels of the supply chain remain vigilant and continue to adopt business continuity measures to provide a reliable supply.
Crossing the Covid-19 period
• Brussels, 24 March 2020
In these turbulent times, we are aware of the safety measures to be taken at all levels in conformity to the recommendations of national and international public health authorities. We are particularly careful not to endanger the health and safety of our members and their representatives within NMEu.
AIPES and the Transport Expert Working Group on Channel 4 TV
Channel 4’s TV host Victoria Macdonald and her crew came last week to interview the members of the Transport Experts Working Group about the possible consequences of the Brexit on the transport of radiopharmaceuticals to the UK.
Full segment of the broadcast can be seen here :
Cessation of Mo-99 Production Activities by NTP Radioisotopes Ltd.
• Brussels, 21 January 2019
ANSTO Press Release – OPAL reactor – Update
The AIPES Security of Supply working Group (SoS WG) composed of Mo-99 processors, research reactors, and generator manufacturers received an update from NTP Radioisotopes (South Africa) on 19 January concerning its Mo-99 and I-131 production activities.
NTP recently was authorized by the National Nuclear Regulator of South Africa to continue to perform routine Mo-99 production runs at around 40% of its capacity through the end of February 2019, which is the same level that has occurred since NTP returned to production in late November 2018. No Mo-99 or I-131 shortages have been experienced since NTP returned to service and none are anticipated in this upcoming period. NTP will update AIPES in late February regarding its Mo-99 and I-131 production activities.
Cessation of Mo-99 Production Activities by NTP Radioisotopes Ltd. (NTP)
• Brussels, 9 July 2018
ANSTO Press Release – OPAL reactor - Update
The AIPES Emergency Response Team (ERT*) composed of Mo-99 processors, research reactors, and generator manufacturers had a telecon on Monday 9 July 2018 to receive an update from NTP Radioisotopes (South Africa) on the temporary interruption of its Mo-99 and I-131 production activities. NTP reported that following meetings and information and documentation submissions to National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), it continues to await NNR’s feedback and approval in response to its request to resume Mo-99 production operations.
Processors and Generators expressed that for the time being, there is no major problems in the production initially planned, and that all are trying to manage through the NTP production outage. Situation will have to be reconsidered in the coming days/weeks if there are no changes.
The ERT also discussed the article issued...