Already a leader in the production of lutetium-177 for targeted cancer therapy, the international collaboration of Bruce Power, Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company), Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin (partnership with the Saugeen Ojbiway Nation), and ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE (ITM), has taken another important step toward increasing the amount of the medical isotope it supplies for the treatment of cancer patients worldwide.
A worker shows a target that is sent into the Bruce Power Isotope Production System (IPS) to irradiate ytterbium-176 in the reactor core to become lutetium-177, a cancer-fighting medical isotope.
Bruce Power and its partners have increased the size of the targets, part of a phased approach to expand the capacity for Unit 7’s production of lutetium-177.
Bruce Power, ITM and Isogen have recently implemented an isotope target innovation that increases the amount of ytterbium-176 inside each target that is sent into the Bruce Unit 7 reactor core to be irradiated into lutetium-177. It is the first part of a phased approach to expand the capacity for Unit 7’s production of the medical isotope, which will be fully realized next year.
“Bruce Power and our partners have implemented an isotope target innovation that increases the amount of this cancer-fighting medical isotope we’re able to supply to the world market,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power President and CEO. “As a world leader in the production of medical isotopes, we’re continuing to leverage the uniqueness of our CANDU design, which allows us to irradiate isotopes in our operating units, to ensure that the medical community has access to a reliable source of medical radioisotopes for targeted radionuclide therapies.”
Lutetium-177 is used in precision oncology for targeted therapy of a growing number of cancers, including neuroendocrine tumours and prostate cancer. Bruce Power and its partners became the first to produce the short-lived medical isotope in a commercial nuclear power reactor in 2022 utilizing their innovative Isotope Production System (IPS).
“This upgrade to our production output for lutetium-177 is the first of a series of capacity increases that are planned to ensure that physicians and patients can depend on a constant and scalable supply of isotope for their cancer treatments,” said John D’Angelo, Isogen’s President. “Together with our partners we will continue to invest in isotope production capacity at Bruce Power to create the most dependable global supply of lutetium-177.”
The IPS, designed and installed by Isogen at Bruce Power, produces the medical isotope, which is then transported to ITM’s manufacturing facility in Germany for processing pharmaceutical-grade, non-carrier-added lutetium-177 (n.c.a. lutetium-177). ITM is the leading supplier of n.c.a. lutetium-177 to health care facilities around the world. The isotope is successfully being used in various clinical and commercial radiopharmaceutical cancer treatments.
“At ITM we are keenly aware of the growing demand for this valuable medical isotope due to its broad applicability in cancer treatment and appreciate the opportunity to tackle this issue head-on with our partners at Bruce Power and Isogen which provide us exclusive access to the IPS irradiation service for the production of lutetium-177,” commented Steffen Schuster, CEO at ITM. “Enhancing Unit 7 at the IPS exemplifies that we are on the right path toward scaling our global production capabilities, especially across North America, in order to reach the broadest patient population possible.”
The IPS leverages Bruce Power’s continual operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide a consistent supply of life-saving isotopes that will be used by doctors to treat cancer patients around the world.
Bruce Power also collaborates with Saugeen Ojibway Nation to jointly market the new isotope supply in an equity partnership named Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin in support of the global fight against cancer while creating new economic opportunities within the SON territory.
Learn more about how isotopes help to keep hospitals safe, as well as diagnose and treat cancer at www.brucepower.com/isotopes.
About Bruce Power: Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable nuclear power to families and businesses across the province and cancer-fighting medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.