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FDA Approves Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville Radiochemistry Facility

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Mayo Clinic
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Via Florida Times-Union
Jacksonville philanthropists Robert and Monica Jacoby (center) pose with daughters Cynthia Greene (left) and Lars Swingle in front of Mayo Clinic's $1.5 million cyclotron. The Jacobys donated $10 million to Mayo's expansion program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Mayo Clinic's new positron emission tomography radiochemistry facility in Jacksonville, a groundbreaking addition that will help doctors detect patients' medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease in their early stages.

WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reports the $10 million radiochemistry building houses a $1.5 million cyclotron, a particle accelerator that produces radioactive pharmaceuticals for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. When injected intravenously prior to a patient undergoing scans, the drugs create accurate images of tumors and other abnormalities, even small amounts of cancer cells.

"The cyclotron is an invaluable tool for patient care and innovation," said Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. "It will help us diagnose a number of conditions earlier and with far greater precision. All three Mayo Clinic campuses now have cyclotrons, which mean we can work together even more effectively to advance this field and bring new advancements to patients."

The FDA approval was announced Monday.

Mayo is the only Northeast Florida hospital or academic center with FDA approval to use a cyclotron for patient care, although private vendors use them to produce radioactive drugs, said Manoj K. Jain, division chairman of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging at the Jacksonville clinic.

An expanded version of this story is at Jacksonville.com.