“To fight tumors we need more energy. To transfer more energy we need a more penetrating particle.”
CLINICAL NUCLEAR ONCOLOGY BY nIORT®; OUR MEDICAL DEVICE
TheranostiCentre is an innovative SME who developed a new intraoperative radiotherapy system that uses fast neutron beams to irradiate a wider class of solid tumors at different stages. The device, NEUTRONBRUSH® is efficient and compact and can be positioned in an operating room, it is mobile and does not contain radioactive sources.
What are the advantages of the NEUTRONBRUSH® device?
Lower Investment and Treatment Costs
Reduction of Recurrences
TheranostiCentre has developed a new approach to intraoperative radiotherapy called nIORT® (neutron IntraOperative Radio Therapy) based on a compact neutron generator (CNG – Compact Neutron Generator), developed and constructed by Berkion Technology LLC in California, USA.
The CNG has been subjected to preliminary tests by Berkion Technology itself.
The further steps of TheranostiCentre nIORT® therapy are a strict cooperation with medical centres, Universities and clinics whose primary task is the cancer treatment and care, maximizing new technologies.
Many patients will be able to receive a high-dose localized “one-shot” fast neutron beam radiotherapy during surgery in the operating room directly. They will avoid external radiotherapy in the days and weeks following the surgery
Timeline and Progress
Current Status of the Project
The prototype of the Neutron Generator will soon be positioned at Centro di Ricerche ENEA at Brasimone (Bologna) where further tests on an anthropomorphic phantom will be directed to define the most efficient clinical dose. A collaboration with important clinics and hospitals specialized in cancer treatment will support us in refining and optimizing the medical device for the operating room administration.
How it Works and Monte Carlo MCNP Simulations
The nIORT® is administered with a medical device basically composed by a CNG (Compact Neutron Generator) and a BSA (Beam Shaping Assembly), that shields and (partially) collimates neutrons towards a circular exit window for irradiation. The CNG is a compact light ion accelerator of deuterons that exploits the DD (Deuterium-Deuterium) fusion reactions to generate fast neutrons (2.45 MeV energy) into a Titanium (Ti) target under DC high electrical voltage (100 kV-10 mA power generator). The current technology is nowadays mature for industrial and medical development of this kind of CNG, having some specific advantageous features such as: to provide a high and almost mono-energetic neutron flux; to have a high/safety standards; do not produce high level wastes; can be made compact, mobile and light with a comparably lower costs compared to other IOERT mobile technologies devices. The CNG-BSA system design was addressed by a detailed study with the MCNP code in which the whole CNG-BSA system was modelled: the apparatus takes up t he volume of a cylinder with an external diameter of 30 cm and a length of about 40 cm (for a total weight lower than 100kg). The small size and weight permit the CNG-BSA remote handling by a robotic arm and its utilization in an operating room dedicated to IORT. Working at 100 kV-10 mA power, the CNG supplies a neutron yield at the Ti Target of 3.3 109 [s-1]. With the possibility to tune the exit window diameter in the 1 ÷ 6 cm range, the CNG-BSA irradiation performances (due to neutrons and secondary photons created by neutrons interactions with the BSA walls and with the tumour bed tissue in front of the irradiation window) can be summarised as it follows:
- a neutron flux at the irradiation window of 1.01 ÷ 0.51 108 [cm-2 s-1];
- a maximum neutron flux in the tumour bed tissue of 9.1 ÷ 7.3 107 [cm-2 s-1];
- a maximum photon flux in the tumour bed tissue of 4.9 ÷ 4.8 106 [cm-2 s-1];
- a maximum equivalent (or biological) dose rate in the tumour bed tissue of 2.36 ÷ 2.10 [Sv min -1].
The CNG-BSA is able to operate in (at least) 3 regimes having different dose targets:
- the Boost nIORT® with the clinical end-points of about 10 Sv ;
- the Radical nIORT® with the clinical end-point of 20 Sv as peak dose in the tumour bed;
- the Ultra radical nIORT® with the clinical end-point of 20 Sv as average dose in the tumour bed over the whole irradiation window area.
Who We Are
TheranostiCentre is a Small Medium Enterprise based in Milan with lab in Centro di Ricerche ENEA at Brasimone(Bologna), Italy, whose mission is the integration of different multidisciplinary technologies for the treatment of solid cancer. The core of TheranostiCentre is the scientific research, implying all necessary skills to add value to the company scientific assets. TheranostiCentre is responsible for patenting and developing the technologies studied up to the stage in which it will be possible to confer them to partner companies for production and marketing on vast scale. TheranostiCentre has and is looking for strategic partnerships worldwide further to the ones with ENEA and Berkion Technology with the necessary skills for the finalization of prototypes, tests and protocols for advanced intraoperative radiotherapy.
TheranostiCentre International Student Community
TheranostiCentre is cooperating with young students and researchers to study the applications of neutron radiotherapy to oncology fields.
Dott. Paolo Galmozzi
Dott.ssa Lidia Falzone