A new era of nuclear medicine diagnosis has dawned with introduction of medical cyclotron technology. Medical cyclotron primarily produces positron emitters, which can be used in molecular imaging of organs. In medical cyclotron, particles such as deuterons and protons are accelerated and bombarded to an appropriate target material for the production of positron-emitting radioisotopes. Positron emitters are produced by the (p, α), (p, n) or (d, n) reaction. The neutron activation of the surrounding medium is of utmost importance while determining radiation safety.
Medical cyclotrons are compact cyclotrons that are used for PET imaging through the production of positron-emitting radionuclides. Most of the clinically and medically useful positron emitters are formed by nuclear reactions consisting of low energy particles which are otherwise known as the compact cyclotrons. These cyclotrons are commercially available and utilize small space. The medical cyclotron operation can be controlled by computer. The cyclotron was invented by Ernest Lawrence and M.S. Livingstone of the University of California, Berkley, where it was first operated in 1932.
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According to Radiological Society of North America, in 2013, the Canada government initiated the US$ 25 Mn, four-year Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP) for the further advancement of cyclotron and linear accelerator technologies for the production of Tc-99m. Grants for cyclotron projects were awarded at the TRIUMF and University of Alberta. In early 2015, TRIUMF announced that researchers had demonstrated a technology that can be feasible for a number of different cyclotrons, which are capable of serving reasonably large population centers. In 2018, according to a review by MDPI Journal, near 70% of the cyclotrons disseminated over the world are low-energy cyclotrons (≤20 MeV).
Cancer has a major impact on society in the U.S. and across the world. Rise in prevalence of cancer is driving the medical cyclotrons market. According to National Cancer Institute, the estimated national expenditure for cancer care in the U.S. was US$ 147.3 Bn in 2017. In forecast period, the costs of cyclotrons are likely to increase due to increasing prevalence of cancer and rising elderly population.
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Costs are also likely to increase, as new and costly treatment are being adopted as standard of care. Rise in production of artificial radionuclides, increase in the number of treatments and medical care expenditure, surge in prevalence of cancer, lifestyle changes, increase in the number of geriatric population drive the global medical cyclotrons market. High operating and maintenance costs of cyclotrons, industrial and regulatory constraints, and narrow physician referral bases are expected to hinder the medical cyclotrons market during the forecast period.
Based on product type, the global medical cyclotrons market can be classified into ring cyclotrons and azimuthally varying field (AVF) cyclotron. In terms of end-users, the global medical cyclotrons market can be segmented into hospitals, specialized clinics, pharmaceutical companies and others.
Based on region, the global medical cyclotrons market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to lead the medical cyclotrons market due to factors such as effective government initiatives, increase in business investments, and developed economy. Latin America is expected to account for a large share of the medical cyclotrons market due to increasing awareness.
Key players operating in the global medical cyclotrons market include Cyclotron Products, Nuclear Healthcare Limited, Sumitomo Heavy Industries. Ltd., IBA, General Electric Company, Best Medical International, Inc., and TeamBest. These players engage in various strategies, such as agreements, partnerships, collaborations, and new product launches, to gain competitive advantage in the market.