Press Releases

November 8, 2010

New Cyclotron Facility Opens at HSC Winnipeg

Produces radioisotopes for research, innovation and patient care

Today the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State for Democratic Reform and Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, officially opened the new cyclotron facility at HSC Winnipeg.

The cyclotron produces radioisotopes used for Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a non-invasive imaging technology that allows examination of metabolic activity in the brain, heart, liver, tumors and muscle tissue.

"Our Government is proud to help strengthen Canada's profile as a centre of excellence in biomedical research and commercialization", said Minister Fletcher. "This state-of-the-art technology is a key component in securing the Kleysen Institute's position as a global leader in research and innovation."

"Investments in health research and technology are essential to create a competitive, vibrant Manitoba. Attracting and retaining the best and brightest minds depends on tools like these," said Manitoba's Minister of Health, Theresa Oswald. "We will continue to work with our health care community to ensure clinicians and researchers have the tools they need to enhance quality of life for all Manitobans."

"We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with government, industry and our community to support research undertakings that will ultimately enrich our knowledge and enhance the care we provide," said Real Cloutier, Chief Operating Officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Located on the lower level of the Kleysen Institute, the cyclotron is a technological tool vital to HSC's Great-West Life PET / CT Centre.

Previously, the isotopes used in the PET / CT scanner were flown in each day from Edmonton. The ability to produce these isotopes at HSC:

  • effectively doubles the hospital's capacity to provide scanning services to patients,

  • reduces the need to reschedule patient appointments as a result of flight delays,

  • allows HSC to use the PET / CT scanner for a greater variety of procedures, and

  • enhances expansion of related research programs and partnerships.

"We were thrilled the day the planes were grounded, so to speak," said Dr. Sandor Demeter, Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging, HSC. "Now that we can produce the radioisotopes on site, we don't have to worry about weather or shipment delays so we can provide a more patient-friendly experience, particularly for people who have travelled a long way for these tests."

In addition, the cyclotron enables researchers at HSC to explore and develop new applications for diagnosis and treatment of diseases like Alzheimer's and congestive heart failure.

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