On 23 May 2019, a patient treated at the Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest (ICO) for a tumor of the rectum received a dose of 64Cu-ATSM for an imagery examination. This medical first took place as part of a clinical study coordinated by Dr Mathilde Colombié, a nuclear doctor at the ICO, and was funded by the ARC Foundation for cancer research.

The research conducted for over 7 years as part of the Future Investment Projects of the Iron laboratory of excellence and the ArronaxPlus equipment of excellence has enabled the transfer to clinics of this new product using radioactive copper produced by the ARRONAX cyclotron then the marking and release in the annex to the pharmacy of the teaching hospital of Nantes.

Using 64Cu-ATSM combined with the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) technique makes it possible to visualize a low level of oxygen in the tumor, a characteristic often associated with high resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This information combined with that obtained by other medical imagery techniques (MRI, PET-computed tomography using 18fluorodeoxyglucose, etc.) helps predict the patient’s response to treatment and guides the nursing staff in adopting the best therapeutic strategy. This achievement is thus another step towards personalized medicine.

It was made possible thanks to the close collaboration of the members of Arronax Nantes, in particular the fundamental research teams of the Inserm and the CNRS (Pr Michel Cherel), the University of Nantes and the IMT Atlantique (CRCINA and Subatech), the joint department of nuclear medicine of the teaching hospital of Nantes/ICO headed by Pr Françoise Bodéré and its PET center coordinated by Dr Caroline Rousseau and Pr Caroline Bodet-Milin, as well as the radiopharmacy teams of the teaching hospital of Nantes and ICO and the GIP Arronax.

Contact: Dr Mathilde Colombié