Novel Accelerator-Based BNCT Suite to be Delivered to a top European Cancer Hospital
September 15th, 2016 – Danvers, Massachusetts and Helsinki, Finland – Neutron Therapeutics, Inc (NTI) and Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) have entered into an arrangement whereby HUH Cancer Center acquires a nuBeam suite for boron-neutron capture therapy (BNCT). nuBeam is a compact accelerator based neutron source which can be installed in a hospital environment. Under the arrangement NTI and HUH will collaborate in developing BNCT towards clinical use in a number of cancer indications. A biologically targeted form of radiation therapy, BNCT has previously been applied by the HUH in the treatment of severe cancer cases using a research nuclear reactor as the neutron source.
BNCT is a biologically targeted form of radiation therapy. The patient is infused with a tumor-localizing drug containing boron. The tumor tissue is then irradiated with epithermal neutrons, which are captured by boron. This neutron capture reaction results in the emission of high-energy charged particles, thereby resulting in biologically destructive radiation which is intended to selectively destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. Particularly in Finland and Japan, BNCT has successfully been used to treat cancer patients in cases where other treatment options have been exhausted.
The lack of neutron sources suitable for hospital environment has limited the adoption of BNCT. NTI’s nuBeam suite is the first accelerator-based neutron source of its kind to operate in the world. NTI’s accelerator-based nuBeam neutron source has unparalleled efficiency and neutron beam quality and its revolutionary design is the result of several years of development effort by NTI’s technology team. nuBeam has a unique, electrostatic accelerator design and proprietary rotating solid lithium target technology, which result in a system with unprecedented value and reliability.
A pioneer in the use of BNCT and the only Comprehensive Cancer Center in Northern Europe, the HUH has successfully applied BNCT in the treatment of recurring head and neck cancer. Over 100 patients with locally recurrent in-operable head and neck cancer and a short estimated life expectancy were treated with BNCT using a research nuclear reactor as the source of neutrons with exceptional results.
HUH and NTI have entered into an agreement whereby NTI will deliver to HUH a nuBeam BNCT suite consisting of an accelerator based neutron source and ancillary systems and NTI and HUH will engage in a collaboration to further develop BNCT in a number of cancer indications.
Dr. Petri Bono, Medical Director of HUH: “BNCT holds the promise of changing the landscape of cancer treatment and it is a key focus area for HUH. We aim to start treatments in 2018. NTI’s nuBeam suite represents the cutting edge of accelerator based neutron sources. We were particularly impressed by its unparalleled efficiency, durability and neutron beam quality.”
Ted Smick, CEO of NTI: “We are very pleased with HUH interest in applying and further developing BNCT and that HUH has selected NTI as its partner. We were impressed and attracted by HUH’s position amongst the leading cancer hospitals in Europe and its leading expertise in practicing BNCT. NTI’s nuBeam suite has raised considerable interest with cancer hospitals globally and we are in a number of discussions with hospitals interested in offering BNCT to their patients.”