South Africa-based International Centres for Precision Oncology (ICPO) Foundation has partnered with Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) to establish a theranostics centre.

The new theranostics centre, dubbed ICPO Academy for Theranostics, will be established as part of ICPO Foundation’s global network of ICPO Collaborating Centres.

It aims to provide patients worldwide with access to Radiomolecular Precision Oncology (RPO) and further promote research and development in the fields of RPO.

Through the ICPO Academy for Theranostics, the foundation aims to develop a global network of physical diagnostic and therapeutic centres dedicated to RPO.

The ICPO Centres work under a social operating model based on shared know-how, certified education, and standardised design and processes.

The foundation has already established ICPO Collaborating Centres in Germany, China, India, Australia, and Egypt, with plans for expansion underway.

ICPO Foundation CEO Odile Jaume said: “This collaboration positions the Theranostics Center NuMeRI in Pretoria as a leading partner within both the ICPO network and South Africa, marking a new chapter in cancer care.

“We aim to broaden patient access to innovative Radiomolecular Precision Oncology therapy worldwide and to further develop the ICPO Academy for Theranostics in collaboration with top-tier partners.”

NuMeRI is an integral part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR) of the Department of Science and Technology.

It serves as a specialised medical imaging facility, focusing on advancing drug development and clinical research in nuclear technologies for medicine and biosciences.

The facility partners with the University of Pretoria, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, NECSA, iThemba Labs and all South African universities.

Under the partnership with the ICPO Foundation, NuMeRI will provide recommendations on best practices, quality standards, processes, and procedures in precision oncology.

It will provide practical training for physicians, chemists, physicists, nurses, technologists, and other participants in its facilities for various time durations.

NuMeRI CEO and president Mike Sathekge said: “Collaborating with the ICPO Foundation, our theranostics centre is leading a transformative shift toward precision oncology in South Africa.

“The research infrastructure provided by NuMeRI extends support to healthcare research and development, benefiting both academic and commercially driven healthcare entities, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

“As an ICPO Collaboration Center, we benefit from the global community and exchange with world-class experts within the foundation.”