First in Europe cancer machine unveiled at Newcastle University – Video

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SCIENTISTS at Newcastle University have moved a step closer in the battle against cancer, after unveiling a new piece of ground breaking equipment.

Experts have previewed the equipment and a newly-created unit which will help Newcastle scientists fight cancer thanks to the biggest-ever donation from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Professor Herbie Newell (l) and Dr Mike Carroll with the new Biomarker Generator at newcastle University which is the only one in Europe.

Professor Herbie Newell (l) and Dr Mike Carroll with the new Biomarker Generator at newcastle University which is the only one in Europe.

Newcastle University and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation have purchased an Advanced Biomarker Technology Biomarker Generator, an ultra-compact cyclotron, the first ever in Europe and only the second in the world of its type.

It will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and others serious diseases in the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation PET Tracer Production Unit.

The Biomarker Generator works by creating radioactive tracers which are given to patients who subsequently undergo scans to provide information on cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The information collected helps doctors to understand the location of the disease in each patient, how serious it is, and the underlying processes and pathways that are causing the illness.

The biomarker generator produces a radioisotope – a radioactive marker which can be attached to an imaging agent. The imaging agent is administered to a patient by injection then they are put into a PET scanner so that clinician gets an image which allows them to see where the cancer is in the patient and how large it is, if drug treatments are reaching the cancer and hitting their targets, and whether the cancer is responding to the treatment.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation PET Tracer Production Unit is a joint project between Newcastle University and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. The Foundation has made a record contribution of £625,000 to ensure its purchase.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is intrinsically linked to the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity and the substantial support it receives from this local NHS Charity means it can significantly limit administrative costs.

It does not employ professional fund-raisers to pro-actively raise money and co-ordinate volunteers and relies completely on third party and volunteer fund-raisers.

Click on the video player above to see the Biomarker Generator’s unveiling...