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Molecular imaging tech advances in SA

Two Cyclotrons from GE HealthCare will expand South Africa’s capacity to help clinicians diagnose, treat, and monitor diseases more confidently.

The provision of molecular imaging in South Africa will be expanded next year, thanks to the delivery of two Cyclotrons, which will help clinicians diagnose, treat, and monitor diseases more confidently.

GE HealthCare will deliver the Cyclotrons to the Axim Life Isotopes South Africa (ALISA) laboratory in Midrand, giving patients in Africa access to medical advancements made possible by the units. ALISA is a joint venture between Life Healthcare and the AXIM group of companies.

Cyclotrons produce radioisotopes enabling the production of tracing agents used in molecular imaging scans, which enable doctors and clinicians to see inside the body with a non-invasive process, helping to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases. It can allow early and precise diagnosis. It uses biomarkers to highlight molecular changes, which can sometimes alert doctors to possible disease.

Because of the relatively short “half-lives” – the time it takes for concentration of a substance to decrease of the radioisotopes, they must be created within hours of the patient’s scan. Thus, hospitals need to be close to the cyclotrons in order to get functioning isotopes for patients.   

“This collaboration will drive continuous innovation in molecular imaging agent production to improve access to radiopharmaceuticals in South Africa and help drive precision care in the region,” said Eyong Ebai, Sub-Saharan Africa GM of GE HealthCare.

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