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New technology is advancing radiation oncology

Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | October 26, 2020
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
From the October 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

In March, Sumitomo’s new radiotherapy product, the accelerator-based Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) was approved by the Japanese government to treat recurrent head and neck cancers. Two hospital-based treatment facilities are up and running.

Sumitomo BNCT System NeuCure
BNCT uses a boron drug that is taken up by tumors. The device used to generate the neutron beams is much smaller than a proton accelerator, said Shin Masui, sales manager for Sumitomo.

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“The footprint is smaller than a proton accelerator and the energy is much lower,” Masui said.

There are some U.S. researchers interested in the technology, but the company will need to look at the market conditions moving forward, Masui said.

“More clinical results will convince doctors, but it will take a little longer,” Masui said. “Maybe a year or two years. BNCT will become increasingly familiar over the next 10 years.”

TeamBest Companies
Best Medical International, a member of Team Best Global, recently introduced its Best Integrated Brachytherapy System, which it provides to customers on a per-use basis, with payment based on the number of cases they perform. The arrangement is part of the company’s commitment to provide equipment to facilities that are not able to make a large capital investment, said Krishnan Suthanthiran, president of TeamBest.

The system provides a total brachytherapy solution, including applicators, an ultrasound imaging system and a chair/table.

“Brachytherapy is the least expensive and most conformal radiation therapy and has been underutilized,” Suthanthiran said. “With BIBS, we can improve the clinical outcome at about the same cost as now, but patients will benefit significantly as more clinicians can perform better and more accurately.”

Best Medical International is currently developing the first 400 MeV ion rapid cycling medical synchrotron, for variable energy, from proton to carbon heavy ion treatments. This can be established as a single room or multi-room, with or without gantry, offering variable energy from 230 MeV to 400 MeV. This is expected to be completed and ready for treatment in 2023.

Best Cyclotron Systems Inc. and Best Theratronics Ltd., members of Team Best Global, have several new cyclotrons on the market, and are also developing a dedicated proton therapy system that Suthanthiran said will be available for treatment in 2023. They are currently manufacturing Cyclotrons in energy ranging from 1 MeV to 150 MeV for research, radioisotope production, and proton therapy treatment for head and neck, eye and pediatric cancers at various price options. These are available with single or multi-room, and with or without gantry options.

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