MSK is a completely unique place for the generation of new theranostics. Down in the basement of Schwartz, we have this amazing cyclotron. It's a big, huge machine that generates new radionuclides that we can use for imaging and therapy.
Our facility is composed of two main parts. One is the production area, which houses a lot of highly specialized equipment, which allows us to safely handle and create radioactive drugs. And the second component of this facility is the quality control area. We have about eight levels of quality control that we perform on every individual batch.
Because the radioactivity does not last that long, we have to make that isotope, we have to put it into a radio-pharmaceutical, we have to do quality control, the pharmacist has to release it as a drug ready to go, and sometimes whole process could be in the order of minutes to an hour. We don't have long before we can get up into the clinic for the administration to patients.
The safety of the patients comes first. The nuclear medicine physician with the help of the nurse and the radiation safety officer administers the treatment.
We're seeing responses and survival in patients which would never have survived otherwise. They basically have been given death sentences and now they are alive and they're doing well.
I was diagnosed with stage four, pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. And they told me to prepare myself for the worst, that I had an order of months to live if I was fortunate. That's when the doctor referred me to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Dave was the perfect candidate for this type of treatment. He responded beautifully. He had shrinkage of the tumor lesions. He tolerated the treatment quite well.
One of the wonderful parts of theranostics is patients receive four treatments, eight weeks apart, and they're done.
They're getting responses which aren't just improving life expectancy of patients from weeks or months, but to years.
We actually get results. When you actually see the striking response to treatment in patients, that brings me joy.
The things that they're doing MSK, and the dedication of these doctors and scientists, give us all so much hope for the future that hopefully it allows us to enjoy our present a little bit more too.