Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Finland to apply BNCT for cancer treatment

07 Feb 2018, 01:34 ( 7 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Meilahti_Hospital area, University of Helsinki. Photo University of Helsinki by Ari Aalto.

The Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) will soon be available in Finland for treating recurrent head and neck cancers, national broadcaster Yle reported on Tuesday.

The Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS) has invested a medically-modified Boron Neutron Capture device, which will be installed in the cancer ward of the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HYKS) for treating patients with recurrent head and neck cancers.

The world's first commercial BNCT device to be used for radiation treatment, which has been purchased by HUS, is made by Neutron Therapeutics, a U.S.-based company, according to Yle.

Leila Valtavirta, medical chief at the cancer ward of HYKS, told Yle that the results of the Boron Neutron Capture Therapy were extremely promising.

"In some patients with recurring cancers in the cranial and neck areas, the tumor tissue disappeared completely and in others it shrank," she added.

According to Mikko Tenhunen, lead physicist at HYKS, the new method of cancer treatment works on completely different principles from existing radiation machines.

With the new approach, "we can then focus neutron radiation on the tumor. This helps focus nearly twice as much radiation in the right place," said Tenhunen.

BNCT will be used to treat recurrent head and neck cancers initially, but it will be also used to conquer other kinds of cancers, according to Finnish experts.

BNCT is an alternative to conventional radiation therapy for treating locally invasive malignant tumors. It kills cancer cells through nuclear reaction in tumor cells.

Currently, the U.S. and Japan are the front runners in the BNCT's clinical studies and applications in the world. Finland, which started the clinical studies in 1999, is also one of pioneers in this area.

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