Melissa's cover image
Melissa

Melissa Latter

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: Queensland None > Health And Medicine
None > Science
To establish a premier training and manufacturing site in translational radiopharmaceutical science - UK, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Finland
Download

Conclusions and Recommendations

I visited a total of 16 hospital based radiochemistry facilities; academic departments or research institutes across 4 countries throughout this Fellowship period, in addition to participating in the international conference (30th Annual Congress of European Association of Nuclear Medicine) in Austria. This period was a productive time towards achieving the Fellowship goals of touring sites and observing facilities, learning about international best practice, undertaking practical training in novel techniques and networking with leading radiopharmaceutical scientists. These visits revealed common scope, common infrastructure as well as specific pros and cons for each site.

  • Clinical radiopharmaceutical science is a growth area evidenced by investment of new facilities.
  • Translation comes from research and research does not always return dividend for the investment i.e. there must be a willingness to take risks.
  • Basic science discovery, vision and an innovation pipeline are critical to success in translational science and implementation of novel radiopharmaceuticals. The most successful groups who have discovered new radiopharmaceuticals with clinical impact are independent of clinical departments who have research freedom, but maintain strong clinical collaborations. Organisational structures should consider this model. If internal discovery or innovation is not available, it must be imported.
  • A comprehensive portfolio of radiopharmaceuticals should be available – this includes radionuclides applicable to SPECT (Tc-99m, I-131), PET (e.g. F-18, C-11, Ga-68, Cu-64) and PRRT (e.g. Lu-177, Ac-225). Additionally, offer radiopharmaceuticals that aid the diagnostic and where possible therapy of the biggest impact clinical indications – oncology, cardiology, neuroscience, inflammation.
  • Regulatory environments vary worldwide – translation to the clinic can be rigorous and more time consuming in different countries.
  • Innovative practices often require custom-made equipment; if possible in-house workshops are valuable and can be cost-effective if in-house maintenance and servicing of all equipment and instrumentation is also undertaken. Adopt new technology where possible and be creative when commercial options are not available (e.g. 3D printing parts customised to your tasks).
  • Don’t make radiopharmaceuticals that you can buy. Rather invest resources (staff time and infrastructure) in what is not commercially available.
  • Laboratories that manufacture radiopharmaceuticals for use in humans are moving towards GMP compliance and new GMP suites are being constructed at sites that don’t meet these requirements. GMP facilities should operate at 80% capacity to work in a preventative manner rather than reactive one.
  • Adopting GMP principles is resource intensive and can be time-consuming. Consider good software laboratory programs and databases (e.g. that track calibrations, training and send automatic reminders) that can add efficiency equivalent to 1.0 FTE.
  • Work planning, staff training and development are essential tasks which shouldn’t be compromised in busy times. Make use of vendor expertise and external professional development opportunities to enhance the training experience.
  • Visibility and engagement in the international community is important. International conference participation and networking is essential in this discipline. This is particularly relevant due to the geographical location of Australia and the relatively small radiopharmaceutical science community in Australia. Creating a stronger professional network of radiochemists in Australia is recommended.
  • Explore possibilities to establish international training partnerships for skilling staff in new techniques. Consider placements and exchanges to sites with existing education and training programs.
  • Productivity, output, relevance and success is underpinned by a team ethos. 

To achieve my overall Fellowship goal of establishing a premier manufacturing and training site in translation radiopharmaceutical science will require a team effort. Translational radiopharmaceutical science is a multi-disciplinary pursuit and impact will be measured by clinical benefit to Australian patients.

Keywords: Radiopharmaceutical science, Radiochemitry, Translation, Radiopharmaceuticals, GMP, Radiochemist

Related fellows
John Gaffney, John
None > Science
2016
Susan Gontaszewski, Susan
None > Health And Medicine
2016
Kylie Johnston, Kylie
None > Health And Medicine
2016
Stephanie Wicks, Stephanie
None > Health And Medicine
2016
Phoebe-Anne Mainland, Phoebe-Anne
None > Health And Medicine
2015
Trevor Rapson, Trevor
None > Science
2015
Barbara Whitlock, Barbara
None > Health And Medicine
2017
Bronwen Kelly, Bronwen
None > Health And Medicine
2013
Benjamin Newsome, Benjamin
None > Science
2013
Beryl HAYNES AM, Beryl
None > Health And Medicine
1979