The Belgium network for radiation applications in healthcare
Rad4Med.bein a nutshell
Its name summarizes the whole concept: radiation applications for medicine, made in Belgium. As a non-profit network, Rad4Med.be aims at promoting medical applications of nuclear science and technology by creating awareness about the use of radioactivity and nuclear radiation in healthcare and improving its visibility. It provides interested parties a network of competences available in Belgium and, when requested, helps find the correct answers or partners.
To achieve its aim, SCK CEN, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, BioWin, the Health cluster of Wallonia, IRE, the Institute for Radioelements, and IBA, Ion Beam Applications, have created Rad4Med.be.
Today, the network consists of 80 companies, hospitals and clinical departments, research and education centres, associations…
It is supported by SCK CEN, IRE, IBA and the Belgian Federal Government.
Rad4Med.be represented the Belgian assets and know-how in the field during Royal State Visits, Belgian Princely Economic Missions, at congresses or symposia world-wide, and provided support to the Government, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other national or international counterparts.
BELGIUM, an integrated value chain for radiation applications in healthcare
Belgium is one of the major worldwide actors for the production of radiopharmaceuticals and nuclear medical equipment.
Major supply chain for radioisotopes
- BR2 has the largest irradiation capacity for Mo-99/Tc-99m production worldwide and is the second Mo-99 producer on yearly basis.
- BR2 reactor of SCK-CEN is one of the 2 most flexible and powerful research reactors in the world, able to satisfy 100% of the worldwide demand when required.
- IRE is one of the 2 major processing facilities in the world for Mo-99 separation and purification.
- Yearly 35.000 transports of radionuclides for medical applications
High density of nuclear medical imaging equipment
High density nuclear specialists
nuclear medicine specialists
direct or indirect jobs
A very high technical expertise in the field of nuclear physics and nuclear medicine
This expertise covers the different aspects of developing and building tools for the use of radioactivity in healthcare. SCK CEN has been building reactors and developing its applications since 1954, and is a major producer of Mo-99. The processing of bulk radionuclides and the manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals is part of the expertise of IRE and IRE-ELit, with major productions of I-131 & Mo-99 used around the world. IRE-ELiT is the spin-out of IRE dedicated to the production of radiopharmaceuticals. For IBA, building cyclotrons and providing turnkey solutions for radiopharmaceutical manufacturing centres, including cyclotrons and pharmaceutical grade nuclear medicine product preparation, has been their leading expertise for more than 25 years. This company also provides fully equipped proton therapy and manufacturing centres.
Irradiation, purification, isotope supply
Thanks to the expertise in production and refinement of radionuclides, Belgium is one of the few countries in the world able to process and supply industrial scale amounts of medical radionuclides.
Transport interconnects the successive links in the value chain from irradiation and refinement to the end-users or hospitals. It requires the respect of challenging safety and security procedures. A challenge is time as every minute lost may impact patient care.
Some short-lived isotopes are decay products of parent isotopes with a much longer half-life. Generators containing the parent isotopes can be eluted (a.k.a. “milked”) when required to obtain the daughter isotope for clinical use.
Radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, medical physics
Administering radioactive products to a patient requires the full respect of pharmaceutical and nuclear safety regulations concerning purity, sterility, and radiation dose. Most companies started as spin-offs of Belgian universities and are now leaders in their field.
Dedicated hard- and software
Belgian universities, hospitals, research institutes and companies have a long tradition in medical imaging, image processing and/or image management. The companies, started as spin-offs of Belgian universities, inherited their academic creativity and flexibility.
Education and training
The expertise available in universities, research and clinical centres, is shared through different E&T programs. Most of them, as well as SCK CEN, have open positions for doctoral education and post-doctoral research programs in the field.
Academic research and patient care
Academic research related to health care, whether it is fundamental, preclinical, or clinical, is an essential activity of all Belgian universities and university-based hospitals. This leads either to the creation of spin-offs or to close collaborations with leading industries.
Medical applications of nuclear science and technology not only rely on the global supply chain from production to delivery, but also require external services and consultancy. The listed companies provide those services.
Agencies and associations
Belgium hosts national and international agencies, associations and learned societies, essential for the field. They can bring support to any local or foreign entity, private or public, seeking help in the domain of medical applications of nuclear science and technology.
Browse through the latest events relevant by and for the Rad4Med.be community.
Rad4Med at the Nuclear Careers Day 2023
Rad4Med was present at the Nuclear Careers Day 2023, which was organised at the Royal Academy for Science and the Arts of Belgium by the SCK CEN Academy with support of the ENEN2plus project! About 60 students and youngprofessionals attended an inspiring morning...
Welcome to the new website of Rad4Med
Welcome to the new layout of the website of Rad4Med. Feel free to browse around and discover all about the Rad4Med network.