Japanese researchers now unveiled the secret weapon to treat cancer. They are neutrons that attack cancer cells only.
The National Cancer Center in Tokyo hopes to launch clinical trials for the new radiation theraphy called Boron Neutron Capture Theraphy next year.
Researchers told that BNCT is less-invasive theraphy compared with chemotheraphy, surgery or other types of radiotheraphy. Patients need to get irradiated just once that will take only an hour.
NCC’s approach is that it will use the “lithium target” system, much like a tubular machine called an accelerator – this device create neutrons by making lithium collide with protons.
It is believed that theraphy at NCC still has hurdles to clear before it will be available to the public.
“Japan has conducted BNCT research since 1968, but its clinical application was limited, because the only source of neutrons was nuclear reactors,” Dr. Jun Itami, chief of the radiation oncology department at NCC.
“Nuclear reactors are not medical facilities. Plus, there are safety issues involved (in using nuclear fuels for clinical purposes),” Itami added.
Still, researchers are hoping it will prove popular not only in Japan but around the world.