Alpha Tau Medical claim to have developed and new and effective approach to treating solid tumors. Preliminary results for clinical trials along with more detailed information is set to be revealed in early January 2019, during the JP Morgan Healthcare week.
Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy, or DaRT, injects a radioactive seed that releases a high-energy dose of alpha radiation directly inside the tumor. The procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed using local anesthesia in two hours or less.
While the alpha particles were known to have a strong antitumor effect they were impractical for treatments due to short range effectiveness when embedded in tissue.
“In the process of decay, Radium-224 releases its short-lived Alpha-emitting atoms into the tumor“, according to the company’s website. “By diffusion and convection, these atoms disperse to a therapeutically significant range of several millimeters, delivering a high dose of radiation inside the tumor“.
There are ongoing trials for squamous cell carcinoma and head, neck, and skin cancers currently taking place in Israel and Italy. From the data gathered so far, it seems all of the trials’ patients responded to the treatment and the tumors disappeared in more than 70 percent of them.
Spokesperson Sara Jaehnert noted that no serious side effects were observed and any non-severe reactions were resolved within one to two months.
Alpha Tau Medical is looking to expand trials for other forms of cancer – prostate, pancreas, and breast. They’re also working with several centers around the world, including two respected facilities from the United States, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.
If these findings are confirmed and the treatment can provide consistent results, this could prove to be an important breakthrough for the oncology field.
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