Argentina invests in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

Argentina invests in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

Argentina invests in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). The BNCT bases its action on two basic elements: neutrons, which can be obtained from a nuclear research reactor; and boron, a non-radioactive element found in nature that is capable of depositing a dose of highly localized radiation in tumour cells without affecting healthy tissue. BNCT is a form of radiotherapy that is indicated for the local control of solid tumours, that is, those that affect tissues of the organism, excluding those of the circulatory system. It can be used in case of melanoma, which is the most aggressive skin cancer, and in other types of cancer (brain, head and neck, liver and lung).

This treatment is in the clinical trial stage for tumours, although it could also be applied to other types of cancer.  The Argentinean National Commission for Atomic Energy (CNEA) carries out investigations at the RA-6 reactor facilities in Bariloche.

The Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is currently in the stage of clinical study-research-with a  multidisciplinary team of specialists from the CNEA – in collaboration with the Institute of Oncology Ángel H. Roffo of the City of Buenos Aires, the Maimonides University, the Favaloro Foundation and the Austral Hospital. This research is conducted in the facilities of the Reactor RA-6, in Bariloche.

The BNCT Project is in the stage of a Phase II Clinical Study, whose main objective is to evaluate the response (local tumour control) to BNCT of cutaneous melanoma located at the level of the extremities. The secondary objective is to evaluate the acute and chronic toxicity of this therapy at a healthy skin level. The main sources of neutrons currently used for BNCT are research nuclear reactors, although accelerators are also being developed that can be installed in hospitals and health centers. The CNEA seeks to respond to one of the main challenges of the development of this therapy: to bring the BNCT to the hospital environment through the design of accelerators that can serve as a source of neutrons.

Source: CNEA

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.