A Finnish research group has been the first in the world to publish an article in which BNCT treatment has had an excellent response in a patient with head and neck cancer for whom there was no other treatment available. The case report has been published in the June issue of Radiotherapy and Oncology.
BNCT treatment, which was developed for treating difficult brain tumours, has since last year also been given to patients with recurrent head and neck cancer for whom no other treatment is available. The treatment has been successful in improving the quality of life for patients with head and neck cancer.
”Further research in this area has been prompted by encouraging results from patients with maxillary sinus cancer,” says professor Heikki Joensuu, Helsinki University and the Department of Oncology at Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH). Joensuu is the Scientific Director of the BNCT research project funded by Boneca Corporation.
”The successful treatment of head and neck cancer using BNCT has been proven effective by magnetic pictures and PET. The current research phase I/II aims to investigate the tolerance of BNCT treatment as well as aiming to find the effect of the treatment on the life span of patients with glioblastoma”, Joensuu explains
According to the Managing Director of Boneca Corporation, Markku Pohjola, the new research field is an excellent example of the high standard of Finnish BNCT reasearch and development. “Moreover, it shows how well the cooperation between Boneca and its partners, the Department of On-cology at Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and the Turku PET (Positron emission tomography imaging) Center, functions, “ Pohjola continues.
The aim is to conclude the current research as soon as possible. “By having offered a chance for cooperation to all university hospitals, we have also given a possibility for treatment to all Finnish patients who have expressed interest in experimental treatment and who have been suited for it,” explains Joensuu.
Boneca Corporation has also recently signed a contract of collaboration with Global Hospital, a chain of international private hospitals, so that BNCT treatment could also be offered to foreign patients.
Boneca Corporation is a company owned by the Clinical Research Institute HUCH Ltd, The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and it specializes in treating malignant tumours with Boron Neutron Capture Therapy. Its field also includes the development and sales of the required products and technology.
”We are currently looking for industrial partners and funding for a product development project which aims to develop a treatment device which enables giving BNCT treatment in the radiation units of hospitals”, Markku Pohjola says.