MORE THAN 10,000 MICROSOURCES ARE PRODUCED FOR PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT
During the first year of operation BEBIG Company produced more than 10,000 microsources on the basis of iodine-125, used in the operations for prostate cancer treatment. In technical language these operations are called low-dose-rate brachytherapy. It is the latest high-tech form of radiation therapy, aimed at the treatment of prostate cancer. Brachytherapy can significantly minimize the side effects that are typical for remote radiotherapy: isotopes used for treatment are delivered directly to the tumor without affecting the surrounding tissue and organs. The first and still unique in Russia and the CIS countries, this type of plant was opened on the site of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, and for the implementation of the project a subsidiary company was set up – a resident of "Dubna" Special Economic Zone, CJSC "NanoBrachyTech".
Social significant project is aimed at import substitution of high-tech health care products, and aims to modernize national healthcare system, the technological development of Russia. The start of microsource production for prostate cancer treatment was preceded by several years of hard training: the research and development work was conducted; we analyzed the market needs and prospects. Bebig specialists actively cooperated with leading radiologists and oncologists who were enthusiastic about the project.
It should be noted that prostate cancer is among the most common cancers among Russian men. In 2014 36,493 patients were diagnosed. Herewith the mortality in the first year after diagnosis was 10.3%. For the patients with cancer stage I and II brachytherapy is specially sparing, alternative method to surgery and external radiation, as a result of which the patient quickly returns to normal life.
“Since the launch of our production more than 10,000 domestic microsources have been produced, high-tech medical products were supplied into 26 medical centers in Russia,” - says Kirill Mayorov, Director General of Bebig. Co-operative efforts of "Dubna" SEZ in the first year of operation of the plant and benefits provided to the resident company CJSC "NanoBrachyTech" had a positive impact on production processes. In addition, due to the convenient location of production in Dubna we carried out an uninterrupted supply of microsources into the clinics in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ufa and other cities. The entire production chain in the new plant is robotic and requires minimal human interference. Half of the equipment provides an output product; the other half carries out strict quality control. Each microsource goes through several stages of checking for compliance with a reference sample by integrity, shape, uniformity of the radiation field around the source. In the nearest future "Dubna" SEZ resident plans to supply unique microsources in the CIS countries, Asia and the Middle East.
"In May 2015 with the participation of Bebig the first low-dose-rate brachytherapy operation was held in Armenia, in September the same operation is scheduled in Kazakhstan. Pursuing the promotion of this minimally invasive, but at the same time highly efficient method of treatment, we want to provide an opportunity for all prostate cancer patients to benefit from the achievements of nuclear medicine", - said Kirill Mayorov. "Despite the fact that brachytherapy is actively used in the world, in Russia this method is far from being ubiquitous, but we expect the number of brachytherapy centers to be increased in the nearest future. Besides the above, it is worth adding that in Russia low-dose-rate brachytherapy treatment is free of charge for prostate cancer patients – this method was registered in the list of high-tech medical care and is financed by the state".