With the presence of the President of the Nation Alberto Fernández, the Minister of Science and Technology of the Nation, Daniel Filmus, the governor of the province of Formosa, Gildo Insfrán and the president of the National Atomic Energy Commission, Adriana Serquis, among others authorities, the building of the Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Center “Dr. Néstor Kirchner” (Cemenurnk), located on the grounds of the High Complexity Hospital “Pte. Juan Domingo Perón” in the capital of Formosa.
It is one of the most important and modern works in the northeast region, focused on the treatment and diagnosis of oncological diseases. The Center is integrated into the public health system through the National Nuclear Medicine Plan and an agreement signed between the CNEA and the government of Formosa.
When speaking, the President of the Nation assured that “it is a great pride that the North of the country has a hospital system like the one here, because federalism is not declared, it must be done.” After emphasizing that 95% of the personnel that work at Cemenurnk are natives of Formosa, he added that “this will happen the day we achieve that each one can grow in the place where they were born, study, develop, find work, do their family, enjoy and die happy after a lifetime where he was born”.
The president of the CNEA, Adriana Serquis, accompanied the ceremony and recalled that “since the creation of the Nuclear Medicine School Foundation (FUESMEN) together with UNCuyo and the province of Mendoza, the CNEA has taken an important impulse in the area of applications of nuclear technology for health”. “This virtuous process – added Serquis – reached its highest point with the creation of the Nucleovida Plan in 2015 at the national level, which has been strengthening the Agency’s capacity in research, training of human resources and assistance through the various foundations of nuclear medicine created in several provinces through this program”. Likewise, she recalled that some projects that had been undertaken by that Plan were defunded in 2018 and only those in which each province took charge could be carried out, as is the case of Formosa. Between 2014 and 2018, the CNEA contributions for the construction, equipment and training of human resources of Cemenurnk was approximately 51 million dollars.
A reference center for the entire region
Dr. José Rolando Granada, CNEA researcher and president of the Dr. Néstor Kirchner Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Center Foundation, explained that “Cemenurnk is expected not only to meet the needs of the local community, but also to provide coverage to neighboring provinces and even to an important part of Paraguay due to its proximity. What we hope is that our Center really meets expectations and allows our people to find nearby solutions without having to travel to the cities”.
The inaugurated facilities correspond to the radiotherapy and brachytherapy service, which have been operating since this year and in the last week received their 100th patient. This stage has two linear accelerators whose function is to achieve a high-precision radiation beam and speed, which allows a less invasive treatment, with fewer sessions, protecting the healthy organs close to the tumor. As for the high-rate brachytherapy service, it is a localized method that is generally applied to gynecological, urological and mammary tumors, which allows higher doses to be delivered to the tumor in a few minutes.
“Then, in a second stage, all the potential and technological tools will be available to address diagnostic, imaging and other issues. For this we are talking about instruments such as a PET/CT and also the operation of a cyclotron, which will generate the relevant radioisotopes for this type of treatment”, added Dr. Granada.
In addition, comprehensive assistance is offered for the psychophysical health of both patients and the medical team through a psychological office that develops dynamics for the accompaniment and mental strengthening in the face of the complexity of the diseases that are treated there.
atoms for health
Nuclear applications for health stand out among the most important peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Argentina is a leader in Latin America thanks to the developments carried out by the CNEA in medical physics, nuclear engineering and radiopharmacy, producing a synergy that allowed scientific research and the training of new professionals and technicians in the area through various institutions.
This trajectory began in 1967, with the creation of the Nuclear Medicine Service of the Hospital de Clínicas “José de San Martín”, located in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, based on an agreement between the CNEA and the University of Buenos Aires.
In 1991, the FUESMEN was created, through an agreement between the CNEA, the National University of Cuyo and the Government of Mendoza, which strengthened the specialized training of professionals and technicians in nuclear medicine and radiodiagnosis, simultaneously with assistance to the community.
Years later, in 2007, the Nuclear Diagnostic Center Foundation (FCDN) was created with the endorsement of the CNEA and FUESMEN, in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
As of 2015, and thanks to the creation of the National Nuclear Medicine Plan, the CNEA creates the Entre Ríos Nuclear and Molecular Medicine Center Foundation (CEMENER), in the town of Oro Verde.
Along the same lines, the INTECNUS Foundation was later founded in San Carlos de Bariloche, the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy of Southern Patagonia (CEMNPA) and the recent Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy “Pte. Dr. Nestor Kirchner” in Formosa.