Most head-and-neck cancers that recur locally after prior full-dose conventional radiation therapy respond to Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). These results were obtained in a Phase I/II study at the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. The scientific director of the research program, professor Heikki Joensuu, University of Helsinki, considers the results clinically significant and very interesting. They open a new field for BNCT, since thus far BNCT has been evaluated only in the treatment of some brain tumours.
The follow-up results of 12 patients diagnosed with cancer of the head-and-neck and treated in a prospective clinical trial were reported in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology & Physics (online version available: www.redjournal.org). All patients had cancer of the head-and-neck that had recurred locally after surgery and conventional radiation therapy. Ten out of the 12 patients had substantial tumour shrinkage following BNCT, and in 7 cases the tumour disappeared completely. Adverse effects of treatment were moderate and resembled those of conventional radiation therapy.
The study has been expanded, and up to 30 subjects will now be allowed to enter the study protocol.
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a form of targeted radiation treatment for cancer. It is still considered experimental. In this method a boron-containing compound (boronophenylalanine) is first infused into a peripheral vein, following which the compound accumulates in cancer tissue. Cancer is subsequently irradiated with neutrons obtained from a nuclear reactor, which causes boron atoms to split within the cancerous tissue as a result from a boron neutron capture reaction. The resulting smaller particles cause a large radiation effect within the tumour tissue, which destroys cancer cells.
The technique allows targeting of a high dosage of radiation to the tumour while allowing sparing of the adjacent normal tissues from the highest doses of radiation. Boron-mediated targeting of radiation allows treatment of patients who can no longer be treated with conventional radiation therapy. BNCT is administered as single one-day treatment that may be repeated.
The study was sponsored by Boneca Corporation, the spinoff company operating on the medical campus of the Helsinki University and the University Central Hospital (www.boneca.fi). The treatments are carried out in collaboration with the Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, at the BNCT facility constructed at the VTT research nuclear reactor site located at Otaniemi, Espoo. The neutron radiation used in the treatment is provided by VTT.
Boneca Corporation’s clinical research program includes also a phase I/II study that evaluates BNCT in the treatment of primary glioblastoma (a highly malignant brain tumour) and another clinical trial that assesses safety and efficacy of BNCT in the treatment of glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas (a type of brain tumour) that have recurred after conventional radiation therapy.
“Our plan is to investigate BNCT in the treatment of cancers located elsewhere in the body that cannot be effectively managed by any known treatment,” says professor Heikki Joensuu.
”The current treatment is a result of a long period of research, a proof of academic expertise, and a model for effective collaboration between Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and the company”, says Boneca Corporation’s managing director Markku Pohjola.
Boneca Corporation is the only health care company focusing on BNCT in the world.
Over one hundred cancer patients have received BNCT at its facilities.
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy