October 4, 2022

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Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors

 

 

Japan’s anti-cancer “black technology”-the latest development of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for Malignant tumors

 

Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors. In the past year, the team cooperated more and more tacitly, but medical physicist Hu Shangde said: “BNCT technology still has a lot of room for development in the future.”

Malignant tumors are a common and frequently-occurring disease that seriously threatens people’s health. Among them, the traditional treatment methods for cancer treatment mainly include “surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.”

Recently, “immunotherapy” has become the fourth treatment method, and Japan’s first “boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT)” that can selectively kill cancer cells is expected to become a new generation of treatment methods.

In recent years, BNCT in Japan has developed rapidly. 4 hospitals and medical institutions are equipped with BNCT. Among them, the BNCT Research Center (Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture) has started treatment, and the Kansai BNCT Common Medical Center of Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University (Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture).

The principle of BNCT is to use the reaction of neutrons and boron compounds accumulated in cancer cells to destroy cancer cells in a targeted manner.

Compared with general radiotherapy using X-rays, it does little harm to the surrounding normal cells.

In June 2020, the South Tohoku Group (Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture) took the lead in starting treatment for some head and neck cancers in Japan and achieved good results. Moreover, this new type of therapy began to apply medical insurance, laying the foundation for its popularization in the future.

 

The Kansai BNCT Cooperative Medical Center, established by Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University in 2018, has so far completed the treatment of 30 patients. The close cooperation between the medical physicist who performs repeated simulation tests on the computer and the radiographer who is in charge of the actual irradiation work plays an indispensable role in the effect of cancer treatment.

 

Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors

Source: Kansai BNCT Common Medical Center official website

 

Mr. Hu Shangde, who is responsible for solving technical problems in radiology and has a qualification as a medical physicist, pointed out, “After receiving the CT and MRI images of the patient, we can use this new technology after research and judgment.”

 

Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors

Source: Kansai BNCT Common Medical Center official website

 

In the medical center, two medical physicists are using dedicated three-dimensional software on the computer to reproduce the cancer lesions on the patient. In order to cooperate with the neutron beam irradiation device, they need to discuss what kind of posture the patient adopts, and adjust the irradiation time in seconds while considering the nature and size of the tumor.

 

Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors

Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun

 

After receiving the medical physicist’s plan and the doctor’s examination results, all personnel related to the treatment will have a meeting. After approval, a rehearsal will be conducted 1 week before the treatment day, and patients also need to participate. However, unexpected situations often occur in this process. The radiologist Kazuhiko Akita explained: “This is the biggest difficulty that needs to be overcome in the preparation for treatment.”

Unlike X-rays, neutron rays will disperse after leaving the emission port. In order to effectively attack the tumor during an average of about 40 minutes of irradiation, the patient needs to be as close to the irradiation device as possible. The patient is lying or sitting, and the radiographer uses a cushion or a fixture to adjust the patient’s position in millimeters.

However, patients may not be able to move their bodies freely. Affected by age and other treatments, the range of motion of the neck and shoulder joints of many people has become very small. The medical physicist will prepare 3 or more plans in advance, but in many cases, no matter what the posture, the patient cannot do it.

“This posture does not seem to work”, “raise the neck 5 degrees again”. With the cooperation of the patient and the advice of the medical physicist, the radiographer will repeatedly adjust to find the best posture for the patient. But if the time is too long, it will also increase the burden on the patient. Therefore, this is a laborious task.

Once the posture is determined, the medical physicist immediately estimates the amount of neutron radiation and the magnitude of side effects on the computer. Sometimes it takes repeated calculations to determine the final plan. In this way, patients can receive treatment with peace of mind in the future.

In the past year, the team cooperated more and more tacitly, but Hu Shangde, a medical physicist, said: “BNCT technology still has a lot of room for development in the future.” The training of professionals in this field and the improvement of devices are in order. In the process of advancement, efforts to provide better medical services to patients will never end.

 

 

Japan: Latest development of boron neutron capture therapy for Malignant tumors

(source:internet, reference only)


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