RUSNANO Launches a Nuclear Medicine Center in Belgorod

17 March 2017

A modern and efficient method to diagnose cancers will become more available for residents of the Belgorod region. It is planned that more than 2,500 people will be checked up at the center by the end of the year.

With the launch of the Belgorod positron-emission tomography center, high-tech medical aid on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers has become more accessible for region's residents. Most checkups will be conducted within the framework of the statutory health insurance program.

“A very important and long-awaited event has happened in the health system of the Belgorod region. The nuclear medicine center has been brought into operation. We are very grateful to RUSNANO—the initiator of this great project, which brings our healthcare to an absolutely new technological level. For many people, it means a good opportunity to be timely diagnosed and correctly treated. We completely understand how important it is today. Previously we used these services outside our region and sometimes abroad. Now it is available in our region,” Evgeny Savсhenko, governor of the Belgorod region, said during the launch of the PET-center in Belgorod.

RUSNANO is creating the first federal network of diagnostic Nuclear medicine centers on the Russian territory with private capital to increase the quality of diagnostics of the population. The project is implemented by portfolio company PET Technology.

PET/CT (positron-emission tomography / computer tomography) is one of the most modern and promising methods to identify cancers.

“Sometimes we are reproached that out activities do not affect the lives of average people. We really work mostly in the B2B sector and a submersible pumps, carbon nanotubes, white metallurgy products will hardly impress a person not related to the business. And here, in Belgorod, we have an unambiguous and clear project helping people. It concerns a serious matter—cancers. Professionals say: the earlier diagnosed, the easier treated and cured. The essence of what has been built in Belgorod is to ensure early and super early diagnostics. It is a fundamental thing. It is a trend in the whole modern medicine—a shift from disease treatment to prevention. The PET-CT technology is the golden standard of diagnostics in oncology,” Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Management Board of MC RUSNANO.

The survival rate to a large extent depends on cancer stages at the moment of diagnostics. In case of cancer detected at stage I, the survival rate is more than 92%, stage II cancer is characterized by the 76% survival rate. In Russia, only a half of detected cancers is attributed to the first two stages. Positron-emission scanning coupled with computer tomography is the most modern and specific method of early cancer diagnostics today. This very method allows significantly increasing the survival rate of cancer patients.

The most important PET/CT advantages include the possibility of diagnosing the disease at early stages; control the efficiency of chemical therapy and reduce its side effects; identify the prevalence stage of the disease to avoid unjustified surgery and related complications; accurately plan radiation therapy; diagnose disease recurrence.

The first PET center of the network was launched in Ufa in the spring of 2014. Even now the PET Technology federal network includes 8 operating nuclear medicine centers in various regions (Elets, Tambov, Orel, Kursk, Lipetsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow and Belgorod), efficient antitumor treatment using the CyberKnife radiosurgical system in Ufa, own production of radiopharmaceuticals for PET/CT in Elets and Ufa. Conditions to increase accessibility of advanced diagnostics are being created together with federal and regional legislative and executive bodies—95% of PET/CT checkups at Nuclear Medicine Centers of PET Technology Company are conducted under the statutory health insurance program. As of January 2017, more than 31 thousand persons where checked up in the federal network.

Technical Note

Positron-emission tomography (PET/CT) is the radionuclide tomography method of human internal organs examination. The method is based on recording pairs of gamma quanta arising when positrons are annihilated with electrons. Positrons emerge during the beta decay of a radionuclide, which is part of the radiopharmaceutical intravenously medicine injected into the body before the test and selectively accumulated in tumor tissues.

This method is based on the possibility to track the distribution of biologically active compounds labelled with positron emitting radioisotopes in the body using special detection equipment (a PET scanner).

Today, PET mostly uses positron emitting radioisotopes of elements of the second period of the periodic system, most frequently fluorine 18, with perfect characteristics for the use in PET: the largest half-life and the lowest radiation energy.

The biological analogue of glucose—fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a molecule of which contains radioactive (positron emitting) nuclide fluorine 18 (18 FDG), is mostly used for positron-emission tomography. FDG is injected to a patient and then distributed in the whole body. Tumor cells much intensively consume glucose, which allows registering sides of pharmaceutical (FDG) accumulation—a congestion of tumor cells—with a PET scanner.

To obtain fluorine-18, a cyclical medical cyclotron or (less frequently) a linear accelerator is used. The target is usually clean water or water enriched with Oxygen-18, which is subjected to proton bombardment. Oxygen-18, in turn, is made using low-temperature rectification.

Additional information

Reference

RUSNANO Joint-Stock Company was founded in March 2011 through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. JSC RUSNANO contributes to implementation of the state policy on the development of the nanotechnology industry by investing directly and through investment funds of nanotechnology in financially effective high-technology projects providing the development of new production facilities in the Russian Federation. Its primary investment focus is in electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology, metallurgy and metalwork, energy, mechanical engineering and instrument making, construction and industrial materials, chemicals and petrochemicals. 100 percent of RUSNANO’s shares are state owned. Thanks to RUSNANO’s investments, there are currently 87 factories and R&D Centers opened in 32 regions in Russia.

Management of assets of RUSNANO JSC is carried out by Limited Liability Company established in December 2013, RUSNANO Management Company. Anatoly Chubais is the Chairman of its Executive Board.

Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and carry out educational programs is fulfilled by RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which was also established during the reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.