PET radiopharmaceuticals
for Western Australia

In Western Australia there is a place that accommodates two Stacked Synthesis hot cells and a Shielded Laminar Hood (SLH) made by Von Gahlen. These machines are operating in the PET laboratory of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) in Perth. This laboratory is the sole supplier of cyclotron generated PET radiopharmaceuticals to Western Australian patients. It provides in excess of 20,000 PET radiopharmaceutical doses per year for the diagnosis, staging and management in oncology, cardiology and neurology.

Balancing functionality and protection

Sun Chan is Cyclotron Engineer Manager at SCGH. He explains what the two Von Gahlen Stacked Synthesis hot cells produce: “The two double hot cells houses synthesis modules used for production of specialized radiopharmaceuticals. Such as: [18F]PSMA-1007 ligand for prostate cancer, [18F]Fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) for hypoxia in cells and [18F]Fluorodeoxythymidine (FLT) for cellular proliferation”, as Sun accurately explains. “Unlike [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) used in 90% of all PET studies, specialized radiopharmaceuticals are more complex to make and require a greater level of attention to details. The Von Gahlen hot cells provide the right balance of functionality and protection, giving the operator confidence in the equipment.”

Lead containers with finishing

The two double hot cells that were added to the PET laboratory of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital 

Laboratory design

The Von Gahlen engineers had to make a few modifications to the hot cells, due to space restriction and room access, without compromising on functionality. These challenges were actually the starting point of Von Gahlen’s cooperation with SCGH. “We first approached Von Gahlen when we needed assistance with our laboratory design and requirements. Von Gahlen was chosen for its functionality, its radiation protection reputation and willingness to accommodate for our needs”, says Sun. 

Working together 

Prior to the on-site installation, Sun travelled to the Netherlands for the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) at Von Gahlen. After his approval and the final steps, our installation engineers made the reverse travel for the on-site installation. They also added a Shielded Laminar Hood to the laboratory. “This hood is mainly used for preparation work and for the dispensing of all specialized radiopharmaceuticals. I am completely satisfied with the result and thank Von Gahlen for working with us on these projects. Their entire team has shown great dedication to deliver the best possible outcome”, as Sun wraps up. 

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If you have similar needs for your laboratory, please do not hesitate to discuss the possibilities with us.