FOOTHILL RANCH, CA–(BUSINESS WIRE). Alpha particles generated by the combination of boron target drugs and proton radiation would elicit a response sufficient to improve the biological effectiveness of proton therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Proton-boron capture therapy (PBCT) is a novel particle therapy approach that aims to enhance the biological efficacy of protons by exploiting the fusion reaction between low-energy protons and a boron drug to destroy cancer cells through irradiation. The combination aims to generate harmful alpha particles exclusively via the tumor without damaging healthy tissue in the beam entrance. TAE Life Sciences and the Department of Radiation Physics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a study: “Effect of boron compounds on the biological efficacy of proton therapy” to determine whether PBCT elicits an enhanced biological effect in tumor destruction.
The results show that boron-11 concentrations of 80.4 ppm from sodium borocaptate (BSH) or 86.9 ppm from 4-borono-L-phenylalanine (BPA) treatments reduced the biological effectiveness of proton beams due to proton-boron reactions in the DU145 prostate unaffected cancer cell line. These results are consistent with theoretical results indicating that the contribution to total absorbed dose and biological efficacy due to alpha particles from the proton-boron reaction is negligible. The results also show that BSH radiosensitized DU145 cells to X-rays, low linear energy transfer (LET) protons, and higher LET protons, but this radiosensitization was not related to DNA damage.
“TAE Life Sciences is proud of this proton-boron fusion study,” said Dr. Bruce Bauer, CEO of TAE Life Sciences. “We are encouraged by the continued development of BNCT and its unique ability to one day offer patients new treatment options for recurrent and difficult-to-treat cancers.”
“The study tested whether different boron compounds increase the effectiveness of proton beams in killing cancer cells via proton-boron nuclear reactions. The results suggest that the boron compounds tested do not enhance cancer cell killing when combined with proton therapy, leaving BNCT as likely the only advanced radiation therapy modality capable of combining the targeting properties of boron compound drugs to enhance radiation-induced cell death improve cancer cells minimizing side effects in health tissue,” said Gabriel Sawakuchi, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Radiation Physics, MD Anderson.
BNCT is a combination treatment based on the reaction that occurs when a non-toxic compound containing boron-10 is irradiated with a low-energy beam of neutrons. BNCT is radically different from other radiation therapies and promises to be the next-generation cancer treatment. Research has shown that BNCT is able to kill cancer cells that are resistant to conventional radiation therapy, with limited damage to healthy tissue. Recent advances in both neutron radiation technology and targeting of medical boron drugs enable BNCT’s potential to improve patient care while improving treatment economics. To date, approximately 2,000 patients have been treated with BNCT at research centers worldwide.
About TAE Life Sciences
TAE Life Sciences (TLS) is a privately held biotechnology company dedicated to the development of a novel biologically targeted radiation therapy based on Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). TLS is developing the next generation of targeted boron drugs and accelerator-based low-energy neutron sources – optimized for an in-hospital BNCT program that may one day treat patients with the most aggressive and recurrent cancers. We have assembled a world-class, cross-functional team of clinicians, radiation oncologists, physicists and other researchers so we can make our technology available to cancer patients who need it most. TLS’s target drugs and neutron irradiation system are currently in development and have not yet been approved for sale. For more information about TAE Life Sciences, visit www.taelifesciences.com.