Formosa Prepares Its Nuclear Medicine Center To Treat Hundreds Of Cancer Patients

The modern Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Center installed in the city of Formosa continues to incorporate equipment with the highest standards of technological quality for the diagnosis and treatment of oncological diseases in the country. Without a doubt, the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy positions the province, in terms of public health, in the fight against cancer.

The financing for the completion of complementary works of the project of the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy «Dr. Néstor Kirchner”, was officially granted after a meeting between the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and Governor Gildo Insfrán, where they finalized the details of this financing that arose as a request to the holder of the portfolio when she visited Formosa and that will strengthen the provincial health system.

Since 2015, through the National Nuclear Medicine Plan, the construction of 11 centers distributed in different points, including the province of Formosa, with state-of-the-art equipment, has been contemplated in the country.

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The work of the Nuclear Medicine Center, located on the grounds of the High Complexity Hospital, presented a high degree of progress but was neutralized during the previous National Government and was reactivated again with the current one.

advanced medical center It has first-class equipment that will allow diagnosis in cardiology, neurology and oncology areas, as well as the comprehensive treatment of various pathologies..

It is worth mentioning that it is estimated that some 100 cancer patients are referred from Formosa to medical centers located in provinces such as Corrientes, Chaco or Buenos Aires, for which, once installed with all its potential, the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy will serve all the demands that these patients need.

The objective is to guarantee equitable access to quality treatments and early diagnoses for the entire population through this public health policy, and all resources will be made available and efforts maximized to achieve this, valued the manager of the Center for Nuclear Medicine , Martin Mutuberria to NEAHOY.

The Formosa Nuclear Medicine Center is unique in the region and neighboring countries

On the other hand, the referent of the institution pointed out that it will be strategic for the entire region and patients who move to Formosa, seeking to ensure equity and accessibility for the entire population.

Regarding the Radiotherapy service, the linear accelerators have a maximum daily operating capacity of up to 70 patients each, while the High Dose Rate brachytherapy equipment has 100,000 cycles in five years (which is the life cycle of cobalt-60 source) so you could theoretically have up to seven patients a day receiving 10-channel interstitial treatment or 24 patients a day for treatment with a three-channel applicator.

It is also the maximum capacity of the equipment, the number of patients to be treated daily depends first of all on the type of treatment and the techniques that are incorporated.

ADVANCES WORK OF THE CENTER OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE

This noon came to #Formosa the source of Cobalt-60 (Co-60) for the high-rate brachytherapy equipment belonging to the “Néstor Carlos Kirchner” Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy. pic.twitter.com/8DKWMZeqnS

– Gildo Insfrán (@insfran_gildo) February 26, 2022

As reported by the Government of the northern province, the first stage of the medical institution will be enabled in the coming months, in that sense, another new equipment recently arrived. It is the source of Cobalt-60 for the High Rate Brachytherapy equipment, a key component for the Center for Nuclear Medicine.

Likewise, the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy has an infrastructure and equipment with high-quality technology that are unique worldwide, highlighted Martín Mutuberria to NEA HOY.

equipment

It currently has installed equipment such as the Versa HD brand high-energy linear accelerator with a power of 15mv, the Elekta Synergy high-energy linear accelerator with a power of 6mv, a General Electric simulator tomograph, a High Rate Brachytherapy equipment Dosis (Bebig HDR), a Pimax C-arc team, among others.

There are two main types of radiation therapy, external beam (Teletherapy) and internal or near-beam radiation therapy (Brachytherapy).

External beam radiation therapy comes from linear accelerators and is a local treatment, which means that high-energy rays are directed at the tumor from outside the body. While internal radiation therapy requires the precise placement of the radiation source within or near the tumor in the body.

In a first stage, all this equipment will allow the start of the Radiotherapy service, carrying out different treatments in teletherapy and brachytherapy with various techniques, being able to mainly treat oncological diseases such as gynecological (cervical cancer), rectal (colon cancer), prostate , breast, esophagus, lung, skin and other parts of the body.

The work of the Medicine Center in Formosa advances at an accelerated pace.

In addition, various external radiotherapy techniques can be performed, such as 3D conformal radiotherapy, image-guided radiotherapy, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), stereostatic body radiotherapy (SBRT), radiosurgery, among others.

In a second and third stage, the Nuclear Medicine service will be put into operation, which is currently 80% complete. It will have a General Electric Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) which is a diagnostic technique equipment that allows taking images of the patient’s body that show the activity and metabolism of the body’s organs.

Meanwhile, he explained that the Radiopharmacy sector will be launched, which is a specialty of the pharmaceutical industry that provides radiopharmaceutical preparations that are used for molecular diagnosis and therapy in Nuclear Medicine. Also the installation of the Cyclotron, a particle accelerator that will allow the “manufacturing” of radioisotopes that will be used in PET, for example.

Team of professionals for diagnosis and nuclear medicine

The manager of the Formosa Nuclear Medicine Center stressed that the provincial government has trained professionals, who are mostly from Formosa. As he pointed out, various professionals and technicians are required to be able to start up the institution, which is why “it is very remarkable and should represent a source of pride for the entire community.”

Currently, regarding the medical part, there are radiotherapists, radiation physicists (Bioengineers), dosimetrists, instrumentation technicians, imaging technicians and nurses, which makes a staff list of more than 20 people specialized in these services. Likewise, he announced that the plan is to progressively incorporate more professionals and technicians, as demand increases and thus be able to provide an adequate service to the entire region.

Likewise, the Nuclear Medicine Center will have trained professionals from the province, since the career was incorporated into the educational enrollment for the technical degree in Nuclear Medicine at the Higher Institute of Health of Formosa.

Completion stage and equipment

The President of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), Adriana Serquis, together with the General Manager of the institution, Alberto Baruj, and the Manager of Nuclear Medicine, Gustavo Santa Cruz, were in Formosa to see the progress of the works in the facilities of the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy, and the new Dioxitek Uranium Treatment Plant.

These projects with great impact on society are a joint development of the National Secretariat of Energy, the province of Formosa, CNEA and specialized state companies.

At the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy, the CNEA authorities were able to learn about the background, the equipment acquisition situation, the related services, the necessary authorizations by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) and the state of affairs of the Foundation that will manage the Center.

The facilities have a Brachytherapy and Radiotherapy sector, which is 100% complete, and the radiopharmacy sector, with 80%.

In this regard, the institution valued the presence of the CNEA, given that since its inception it has carried out multiple projects for the application of nuclear technology. Its objectives are to investigate and develop the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the country, which allows the work to continue and generate the necessary synergy for the start-up of the Center in Formosa.

The main activities carried out by CNEA professionals in the different nuclear medicine centers are related to medical physics, nuclear engineering and radiopharmacy, producing synergy that enables scientific research and the training of new professionals and technicians in the area.

On the other hand, INVAP (an Argentine high-tech company dedicated to the design, integration, and construction of plants) is present at this stage, which is fundamental for the continuity of the Nuclear Medicine works, mainly due to its experience, since For more than four decades, it has been developing technological systems in the areas of nuclear, space, environment and medical systems, among others.

In this sense, it will have a fundamental role in relation to the maintenance and support of all the equipment installed and to be installed.

The Formosa Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Center has a total investment of $528 million between state-of-the-art equipment and civil works. It includes the Uranium Conversion Plant, which involves processes that do not entail any nuclear risk, and a 150-megawatt CAREM Reactor will be installed.

The advanced medical institution will be part of the network of Nuclear Medicine Centers in Argentina, so the corresponding procedures are being carried out.

In this sense, Mutuberria indicated that in Argentina, the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) applies and investigates the most modern nuclear technology through various institutions, and does so mainly through the Nuclear Medicine Centers that it promoted. In this regard, Governor Gildo Insfrán and the then president of the National Atomic Energy Commission decided to establish a public welfare entity under the legal form of a Foundation, called the “Dr. Nestor Kirchner.

The equipment is installed in the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy.

The Board of Directors of the Foundation is made up in equal parts of members appointed by the National Atomic Energy Commission and by the Government of the Province of Formosa.

This will allow forming part of the Network of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Centers formed by the CNEA, these being the Diagnostic Center Foundation (FCDN) of Buenos Aires, the School of Nuclear Medicine Foundation (FUESMEN) of Mendoza, the INTECNUS Foundation of Bariloche , the Center for Nuclear and Molecular Medicine (CEMENER) in Entre Ríos, the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Patagonia Austral (CEMNPA) in Río Gallegos, the CABIN in Comodoro Rivadavia, the Roffo Hospital in Buenos Aires, among others.

Said network shares common values ​​and objectives that are oriented towards equity, integrity, innovation and leadership in the use of advanced technologies applied to health, facilitating the formation and permanent training of professionals and technicians, as well as establishing cooperation agreements. mutual between the institutions.

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