Medical cyclotron is type of particle accelerator used in diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and others. Cyclotron comprises a magnet and high electrical voltage, which accelerates charged particles in a spiral motion. The particles collides with a target to produce radioactive isotope due to nuclear reaction. Therefore, medical cyclotron can also be termed as an isotope producing machine.
These isotopes are further combined with chemical compounds (mostly glucose) to create injectable radioactive tracers that are used in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and other diagnostic techniques. A PET scan involves injecting a radioactive tracer into the patient’s body. Radiologists utilizes PET imaging techniques to detect the presence of radioactive tracer at specific sites in the body. Cancerous cells use this isotope with glucose as source of energy when PET scan is used in cancer diagnostics. Fast growing cancer cells appear as a glow in images taken by PET scan thereby confirming presence of cancerous cells at the affected site.
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Radioactive isotopes have short half-life (e.g. Flourine-18 has a half-life of about 110 minutes) that results in immediate decay after their production. Therefore many research and large diagnostic facilities possess assembled in-house medical cyclotron to produce radioactive isotopes for various medical applications.
High prevalence of cancer is expected to be a major factor driving growth of the medical cyclotron market. This is due to the ability of medical cyclotron to detect cancer, observe response of cancer treatments, and check recurrence of the disease using PET scan techniques. For instance, according to World Health Organization (WHO) factsheet in February, cancer is one of leading non-communicable disease and second leading cause of death, worldwide. Moreover, according to a report by International Age for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012, around 14.1 million new cases of cancer, along with around 8.8 million death were registered for 2012. The report further stated that around 32.6 million people were suffering from cancer. Moreover, PET scan is widely utilized in treatment of cardiovascular diseases and central nervous system-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. High prevalence of these diseases is a major factor contributing to increasing demand for diagnostics treatments with PET scans, which in turn is expected to propel growth of the medical cyclotron market.
Key players operating in the medical cyclotron market include, IBA, Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc., GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers USA, Inc., Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd., and Best Cyclotron Solutions Inc.
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