This work, which will be carried out by INVAP, will allow the National Pediatric Reference Center to have access to the latest technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with cancer. The project comes within the framework of the National Nuclear Medicine Plan promoted by the National Atomic Energy Commission.
CNEA President, Adriana Sirkis, and Patricia Almodi, a member of the Garrahan Board of Directors, signed a specific agreement for the construction and provision of equipment for the new advanced radiotherapy and nuclear medicine service that will include not only the construction of a new wing in the hospital as well as the installation of state-of-the-art equipment for the care of pediatric patients.
The agreement provides for the installation of two advanced linear accelerators, a tomographic simulator for radiotherapy, and positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) equipment for nuclear medicine. This will allow us to strengthen the joint work carried out by the fields of oncology, imaging and radiotherapy.
The signing ceremony took place at the CNEA headquarters, between the Director of the Agency’s Nuclear Health Applications Area, Gustavo Santa Cruz, and for the Hospital, the Assistant Director for Technical Services, Dario Filippo, the Head of the Radiotherapy Service, Natalia Pinto, and the Head of the Department of Medical Physics, Silvia Adamo.
“After a long time of meetings and many people thinking about the dream, we are taking the first firm steps to move forward with this project that will allow Garrahan Hospital to modernize its radiation therapy and image processing center,” the CNEA president said. “It is a great contribution made by the nuclear technology sector, and it fills us with pride and desire that it will soon be able to work, alongside INVAP,” Adriana Serkis added. “It is a great contribution to the country.”
“This is the formalization of another project that will be very beneficial for children across the country, and will allow our patients to access the best care and the highest technologies,” Almoudi stressed, adding: “We know that there are continuous improvements in the technological sector, with the possibility of more treatments.” Effectiveness with fewer side effects is what we aim for.”
The new nuclear medicine sector in Garahan is expected to be within the framework of the National Nuclear Medicine Plan promoted by the government and implemented by the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA).
The plan is based on three main axes: social inclusion, to ensure justice and access for all residents to highly complex nuclear medicine and radiotherapy services; Advanced technology, so that each region has a center with highly sophisticated infrastructure and equipment in accordance with global standards; and human resources, giving priority to the training and cultivation of professional and technical human talents, thus enhancing the employment pool and regional development.
The Plans Planning and Implementation Unit is responsible for the CNEA, as the agency is responsible for implementing the necessary procedures in the field of technical planning for the implementation and development of these projects. To date, through this initiative, nuclear medicine centers have been opened in Entre Ríos, Río Negro and Santa Cruz, and the Argentine Center for Proton Therapy in Capa is currently being built.
A leap in quality in nuclear applications for children’s health
Currently, Grahan Hospital has an imaging area and radiotherapy service in separate sectors. In the new building, they will share an area of 3,500 square meters and will have state-of-the-art equipment, such as the accelerator installed in Argentine Center for Proton Therapy.
The new facilities will include PET-CT and SPECT-CT equipment, a radiopharmacy area and, for radiotherapy, two Versa HD linear accelerators from Elekta, of Swedish origin.
Funding for the project will be covered by the National Nuclear Medicine Plan, which aims to ensure universal access and the highest quality to nuclear medicine applications for the prevention, control and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases.