ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Inflammation Disrupts Memory - What Can You Do to Protect Your Brain?

Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues

All About Ginkgo Biloba: Benefits of This Timeless Herbal Supplement

Yarrow Oil: Here's Why It Deserves a Place in Your First-Aid Kit

Vitamin D supplement use associated with lower risk of breast cancer

Carnitine deficiency suggested as contributor to autism

Lutein — An Important Nutrient for Eye and Brain Health

Hop Oil: A Safe Sleep Aide

White Camphor Oil: The Purest Camphor Oil

Taurine: Facts About This Crucial Amino Acid

Print Page
Email Article

Cancer Therapy in Trials Stage

  [ 133 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • May 29, 2003

Posted: May 28, 2003

Elizabeth A. Thomson, News Office

Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and MIT have begun advanced clinical trials of a cancer treatment that could selectively target malignant tissue while reducing the likelihood of injury to healthy tissue.

The trials are open to patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM, a virulent form of brain cancer), melanoma that has spread to the central nervous system, and melanoma in the extremities.

The trials are the first to use a new MIT facility dedicated to the treatment. The facility, the only one in the United States, is considered the best of its kind in the world.

All three cancers are characterized by malignant cells that have proven difficult to eradicate with conventional forms of radiation.

“For these cancers, conventional radiation therapy or surgery is not able to destroy all the tumor cells without unacceptable damage to healthy tissues,” said Professor Otto K. Harling of the Department of Nuclear Engineering. The new treatment, known as neutron capture therapy (NCT), “has the potential to destroy tumor cells while sparing adjacent healthy cells.”

Patients who are candidates for NCT clinical trials may have already undergone surgery for removal of as much of the tumor as possible.

The patient is given an intravenous dose of a compound containing boron-10, known as the “capture drug.” He or she is then placed on a couch for positioning in the epithermal neutron beam, which is specially designed to penetrate at least halfway into the brain to reach deep-seated tumors. A device called a patient collimator—reminiscent of the device used for dental X-rays—directs the beam toward the desired region. To be effective, the neutron beam must be very pure to deliver the maximum possible dose to the tumor.

Five years ago, the exposure period lasted a few hours. Today, irradiations can be completed in a few minutes, minimizing discomfort. Delivery of the boron compound followed by irradiation in the neutron beam is broken into two sessions, delivered on consecutive days.

Dr. Paul M. Busse of Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard Medical School calls NCT promising. “We are encouraged by our clinical results thus far and also by those of our colleagues in Europe and Japan,” he said. “The new [facility] at MIT is second to none as is the research team assembled at MIT and Harvard to do this work.”

Harling directed the design and construction of the new Fission Converter Epithermal Neutron Irradiation Facility. Housed in MIT’s research reactor, it replaces a facility in the same location that had been used for 15 years. Busse is director of the clinical aspects of the research. Robert G. Zamenhof (MIT Ph.D. 1977), currently at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, heads the project's medical physics component.

In 1999 the team concluded a Phase I clinical trial of NCT for the cancers that are the focus of the current work. Phase I trials aim to determine the safety of the technique and involve a process of gradual dose increase to determine the maximum safe dose of radiation.

One of the current trials again focuses on GBM and on melanoma in the central nervous system. This trial combines elements of both Phase I and II trials. Phase II trials are designed to determine the benefits of the experimental treatment at the dose levels established in Phase I. A separate Phase II trial is under way for melanoma on the extremities. These trials are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

NCT involves a drug and irradiation with neutrons. It is unique because it combines a biological and physical targeting of dose. The drug, which contains boron-10, is designed to concentrate preferentially in tumor cells. The patient is then exposed to a specially designed beam of “epithermal” neutrons.

The neutrons in turn interact with the boron, which releases subatomic particles that kill the tumor cells. Because these particles travel only short distances—approximately the length of a cell—the researchers expect that they will primarily damage the tumor cells and not healthy brain cells nearby.

Harling noted that patients treated with NCT might only have to be irradiated over one or two days, as compared to the 30 days typical for conventional treatments.

MIT has conducted research on this approach to radiation therapy since the 1950s. Harling himself has been working on it since 1985.

“As I got older in my professional career, I wanted to do something that was closer to helping people,” he said. “I felt I could make a contribution in this area since I’ve spent many years working with neutrons, so I helped put together a team, we got a hospital involved, and I’m still at it and cautiously optimistic that we will succeed in developing a better cancer therapy.”

The new NCT facility was funded by the Department of Energy and MIT. Additional information on the clinical trials and research can be found at

Who’s eligible

To participate in the cancer trials, a patient must be at least 18 years old, have been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a primary brain tumor, or metastatic melanoma in the brain; have had no radiation therapy, and be able to walk and perform basic activities of daily living. A National Cancer Institute grant covers expenses related to the treatment. For additional information, contact cancer research nurse Jody Kaplan at 617-667-4679.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Energy NADH™ 12.5mg

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

NAD+ Ignite with Niagen

Featured Products

Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils

Natural Remedies

Herbal Inflammation Management for Whole Body Health Herbal Inflammation Management for Whole Body Health
Safely Burn Away Body Fat Safely Burn Away Body Fat
The Big Blue Fish that Helps Chase the Blues Away The Big Blue Fish that Helps Chase the Blues Away
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sleep But Were Too Tired to Ask Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sleep But Were Too Tired to Ask
Herbal Rescue for High Blood Sugar Herbal Rescue for High Blood Sugar

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map