Timely detection of Parkinson’s disease and other neuroendocrine cancers will now be available at a lower cost with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) indigenously producing radiopharmaceuticals.
Radiopharmaceuticals, a field of nuclear medicine used as tracers to diagnose several diseases, had to be imported till now, thereby making the procedure costly and time consuming.
Bombay Hospital, on Tues-day, in collaboration with BARC announced two new scanning procedures, Dopomine Trans-porter System (DaT Scan) and HYNIC TOC Scan, which will use the indigenously produced radiopharmaceuticals.
“The scans can detect tumours at an early stage and we can provide targeted treatment to the patient,” said Dr BA Krishna, head of the department of nuclear medicine, Bombay Hospital. The cost of the diagnostic tests will be reduced from Rs28,000 to Rs8,000 at the hospital.
In the past three months, nine patients suffering from Parkin-son’s disease and eight from neuroendocrine cancers have been scanned successfully at Bombay Hospital. “It took us almost two years to develop these products and get clearances. We plan to produce them on a larger scale and make them available to all nuclear medicine departments,” said Dr MRA Pillai, head, radiopharmaceuticals division, BARC.
The procedure involves giving a patient an intravenous injection of the radiopharmaceutical four hours before a scan. The isotope attaches itself to the affected part of the brain or the neuroendocrine tumour. The exact position of the affected area is reflected in the scan.
An MRI or a CT scan may not be able to detect the disease at such an early stage.