SCK CEN and Quirem Medical announce the first production of Ho-166 microspheres for patient use at the BR2 reactor in Mol, Belgium.

Deventer, June 15, 2021 – A first clinical QuiremSpheres patient procedure took place with radioactive holmium-166 microspheres that were activated at the BR2 reactor in Mol, Belgium. QuiremSpheres is an innovative product for treating liver cancer patients. In 2020, primary liver cancer was the 7th most common cancer worldwide, responsible for 905,677 new cases. This equates to 4.7% of all cancers diagnosed in 2020. Primary liver cancer became fatal that year for 830,180 patients worldwide, making liver cancer the third most deadly cancer of 2020, accounting for 8.3% of all cancer-related deaths.

“We are very pleased that after a period of extensive testing and validation, we can now use the BR2 reactor for clinical productions.” says Jan Sigger, CEO of Quirem Medical. “SCK CEN has proven to be a strong partner and we value their commitment during the development process leading up to this first clinical case. With the high reliability of the BR2 reactor, we are confident we can meet the strongly increasing demand for our products throughout Europe and beyond.”

“The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) is a global leader in the field of nuclear research, services and education. SCK CEN is operating the BR2 reactor and has a long-standing tradition of partnering with healthcare companies to secure the global supply of medical radioisotopes. We are excited that we are now also able to support the production of holmium-166 microspheres for the treatment of liver cancer.” says Bernard Ponsard, Stakeholder Manager of the BR2 reactor for radioisotope production and silicon doping.

QuiremScout is a unique product that allows for screening of patients that are candidates for Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT). QuiremScout is unique, as it is the only CE-marked product on the market for that purpose. It is more predictive than the current standard, Tech-99m-MAA.

QuiremSpheres, the next generation of radio-embolization microspheres, is the only commercially available SIRT product that contains holmium-166 microspheres. Unlike the widely adopted yttrium-90 microspheres, holmium-166 microspheres can be visualized in low concentrations by means of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This allows clinicians to quantitatively assess the distribution of microspheres in the liver, enabling accurate evaluation of treatment directly after the radio-embolization procedure.

About Quirem Medical
Quirem Medical is a spin-off company from the University Medical Center in Utrecht with a mission to develop and manufacture the next generation microspheres for targeted interventional treatment of liver tumors. Its innovative Holmium-166 platform technology provides physicians a complete CE-marked SIRT solution including QuiremScout™, QuiremSpheres™ and the supporting dosimetry software Q-Suite™. The company is based in Deventer, the Netherlands and has approximately 30 employees. As of July 2020, Quirem Medical is a wholly owned subsidiary of Terumo, a global leader in medical technology based in Tokyo, Japan


65 years of experience in nuclear science and technology
SCK CEN is one of Belgium’s largest research centres. It has more than 850 employees who devote themselves every day to developing peaceful applications of nuclear energy. The research activities of SCK CEN relate to three main themes: the safety of nuclear facilities, the development of nuclear medicine and protecting the population and the environment against ionising radiation. SCK CEN is recognised worldwide and shares its knowledge through numerous publications and training courses in order to keep up this exceptional pool of talent.
More info:


Sander Poelert (Quirem Medical) – – +31 (0)85 040 4170
Wendy De Groote (SCK CEN) – – +32 (0)14 33 21 49

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