Moving forward jointly with the FMBA

News, 25 April 2018

On 17 April 2018, an extended meeting of the Working group on Nuclear Medicine under the Coordination Committee for implementation of the cooperation agreement between the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Federal Biomedical Agency was held.

Greeting the participants on behalf of the JINR Directorate, JINR Chief Engineer B.N. Gikal noted that the Institute faced the task of choosing the direction of future actions: whether JINR would develop the centre of proton therapy on the basis of the SC200 superconducting cyclotron at JINR or on the basis of the ProteusONE accelerator of the IBA company, but not at the territory of JINR.

The audience was also greeted by Director General of the Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency A.Yu. Bushmanov who highlighted that joint works were carried out in three directions: medicine, radiobiology and sanitary & epidemiological. In the medical direction, opening of new buildings are carried out jointly with the JINR Medical Unit. In the fields of radiation hygiene, new projects, including NICA, are supervised by the Agency. Radiobiological research is conducted using various energies and doses, animals are irradiated through obstacles, for example, through iron, concrete etc., space conditions are simulated to find out changes in DNA and determine how far astronauts will be able to travel in space. Then, A.Yu. Bushmanov noted the concluding project of construction of the Center of Nuclear Medicine in Dimitrovgrad and expressed his gratitude to the IBA company that had delivered equipment by Russian rivers. The Centre is planning to welcome its first patients at the beginning of the next year.

Assistant Director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, RAS Corresponding Member G.D. Shirkov delivered a report “Experience and trends in nuclear medicine development at JINR”. He noted that the complex of the SC200 superconducting proton cyclotron was developed on a compensation basis, not commercially. JINR will get the first sample of the accelerator for the developed project. It is supposed to replace the Phasotron, equipment of which is not enough reliable now.

IBA Vice-Director, Director of the IBA branch in Russia and the CIS states K.V. Makarenko also participated in the meeting. He highlighted that, with consideration of already established cooperation with JINR having a significant scientific potential, IBA is interested in further development of cooperation with Russian partners. He added that if the efforts of such serious players as JINR and the FMBA are jointed, prospects for implementation of a serious Russia-Belgium project in the fields of proton therapy are obvious for IBA.

RAS Corresponding Member E.A. Krasavin elaborated on the wide range of radiobiological research at the JINR accelerators. A.S. Samoilov (the Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center) introduced the audience to the project of the federal high-tech centre of medical radiology in Dimitrovgrad. The report “The Sechenov’s oncology project” was presented by RAS Academician I.V. Reshetov (the Sechenov Medical University).

G.A. Karamysheva spoke about the current status of construction of the SC200/SC202 superconducting cyclotron, and N.A. Russakovich presented the project of construction of the centre of proton therapy at JINR based on the SC202 superconducting cyclotron. He also highlighted that JINR should develop methodology, dosimetry, and work out instrumentation. Moreover, he noted that a new building would be needed for development of methodological activities. The project will cost 20 million dollars and may be completed until 2021, providing it will be implemented at a maximum work pace.

The milestones of the meeting were summed up by G.D. Shirkov:
“In 2016, we signed the agreement with FMBA that defined the format of our cooperation and activities of the Coordination Committee. Our immediate goal is to replace the Phasotron, two other projects are aimed at establishing the biomedical centre at the JINR territory by means of the Institute and development of the typical medical unit outside JINR that will pick up the baton of treating patients and apply experience we have been accumulating for many years. If the ProteusONE accelerator is developed jointly with IBA, then the accelerator will be constructed not at JINR expense. We are elaborating different options, though difficult in their implementation but still not hopeless, to obtain funding for the project. Most importantly, the scenario with the IBA participation will be fast implemented, it presupposes a developed technique that is certified and has all necessary permissions that are missed from our accelerator now as well as from potential accelerator that may be constructed at the JINR territory in the next few years. The reason for that is that construction of a large building requires a lot of money, time etc.” .

Following the materials of the article by Olga Tarantina
The full version of the article will be available in one of the upcoming issues of the JINR Weekly Newspaper