National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences to open Cancer detection using nuclear technology
Photo: IAEA

Bangladesh’s premier medical institute the National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (NINMAS) is going to set up its own Cyclotron department to bolster its nuclear technology-based cancer diagnosis services.

The Cyclotron department will be equipped with the Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scan system. Once finished the patients will not need to go abroad to detect diseases like cancer.

Director of NINMAS Nurun Nahar told Nuclear Asia: “Nuclear science has made our life simpler. We don’t have to go abroad anymore to detect cancer-like diseases and it is also saving a lot of money for the country.” The NINMAS would be able to do the scanning in only two days after installing its own cyclotron department.

The PET-CT department will be able to provide scan services for patients with malignancy; inflammatory and infectious diseases; and neurological disorders. The test can tell about the spread of cancer and infections throughout the body. The process begins with an injection that contains medicine produced by cyclotron production machine.

The medicine is a radioactive isotope that has a very short half-life. The most common medicines become exactly half in every 110 minutes after they are produced from the cyclotron machine. So, the medicine needs to be injected into patient’s body as soon as possible. After the medicine is well absorbed by the body, the patient is scanned by the PET-CT scanner machine.

So far, Bangladesh has only one cyclotron production facility that is owned by the private United Hospital. Presently, the NINMAS utilizes the cyclotron of the United Hospital. The cost of the test will get lower once the NINMAS finishes the installation process of cyclotron production facility.

The patients undergoing PET-CT scan need to follow certain routine to get the best result from the scan. The test cannot be performed during pregnancy. Taking sweet or sugar is not advised before the scan.