Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care. Cyclone-30, the biggest cyclotron in India for medical application became operational this month when 30 MeV beam reached the Faraday Cup for the first time last week. Subsequently, beam from this facility was used to produce 18F (Fluorine-18 isotope) for the preparation of [18 FlFluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radio-pharmaceutical used by Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT). The facility will start regular production by the middle of the next year after the commissioning of the supporting nuclear systems and regulatory clearances. Cyclone-30 facility at VECC, Kolkata, a Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) unit, will have many unique features, under various stages of implementation, which are first of its kind in many ways. After the commissioning of liquid target (for FDG production) and solid targets (production of Germanium-68, Palladium-103 and other isotopes), work on studies related to installation of Iodine isotope [1-123] production target, material study target and Accelerator Driven System target will also be taken up.
This facility will provide for affordable radio isotopes and related radiopharmaceuticals for the entire country especially, for Eastern India and also have export potential for Germanium-68/Gallium-68 generator for in-situ production of Gallium-68 and Palladium-103 isotopes, used for breast cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer treatment, respectively.
Cyclone-30 commissioning re-emphasises the capability of Indian scientists and engineers to deliver at the highest level of science and technology.