by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | November 10, 2017
A new alliance has launched RaySearch Laboratories into the field of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), a form of radiation treatment that targets cancer at the cellular level.
The Swedish company has partnered with Neutron Therapeutics Inc., a Massachusetts-based company, in a deal that will add BNCT to the RaySearch portfolio of treatment modalities, while applying its technology to a complete single-room solution that utilizes BNCT and is currently being developed by Neutron Therapeutics.
“This partnership is really a response to the fact that BNCT is moving toward broader adoption,” Noah Smick, vice president of business development for Neutron Therapeutics, told HCB News. “There are a number of efforts across the globe aimed at implementing BNCT in hospital environments and generating more definitive clinical data. In our experience, the demand for BNCT today outstrips the supply.”
The use of BNCT is a two-step process that starts out with the injection of a tumor-localizing drug that contains the non-radioactive isotope boron-10. A beam of low-energy neutrons is then applied to the target area with many of the neutrons absorbed by the boron-10. The absorption sets off a reaction in which short-range, high-energy charged particles are emitted to systematically destroy the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
The agreement will extend the functionality of RayStation, which integrates all advanced treatment planning solutions offered by RaySearch into a treatment planning system, to support BNCT planning requirements and add BNCT to the range of treatments offered by RaySearch. These include photon, electron, proton and carbon ion therapy. BNCT users will have access to all advanced functionality features offered by RayStation, including atlas-based segmentation, deformable image registration, and scripting.
The complete single-room solution will include an accelerator-based neutron source, a robotic patient-physician system and a dose engine interfaced to a RayStation treatment planning system (TPS).
Smick says the partnership provides its customers with not only supportive features in the use of BNCT but also ones from an experienced and trustworthy provider.
“RaySearch is widely regarded as the world's leading platform-independent treatment planning system provider,” he said. “The primary benefit to our customers will be the ability to use a TPS for BNCT that they already know and trust. RaySearch has a successful track record of embracing powerful new radiotherapy techniques as they become available. Neutron Therapeutics is pleased that RaySearch has elected to invest in this partnership.”
The first of Neutron Therapeutics’ complete single-room BNCT solutions will be shipped in February to Helsinki University Hospital, with plans for it to be used for clinical purposes starting in 2018.
RaySearch did not respond for comment.