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CSNS Joins Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Project

Date: 2017-08-18



China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) and Shenzhen HEC Group launched a cooperative project on Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) at the Dongguan Campus of IHEP on August 11.

Prof. Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Mr. Zhang Zhongneng, chairman of Shenzhen HEC Group, signed a cooperation agreement between the two parties. This agreement foresees a new era of cancer treatment in the next five years, and it also marks the first expected technology transfer from the CSNS project.

Accelerator-based BNCT is a non-invasive therapeutic application for treating locally invasive malignant tumors such as primary brain tumors and recurrent head and neck cancer.

Briefly summarized, it has two treatment steps. First, the patient is injected with a tumor-localizing drug containing the non-radioactive isotope boron-10. In the second step, the patient is radiated with neutrons generated from a target driven by a proton accelerator.

After the neutrons are absorbed by boron-10, it subsequently emits short-range but highly radioactive rays that can selectively kill tumor cells, without killing healthy cells. It is not only safe but also cost-effective, since the price of the equipment is only one-third that of proton therapy equipment, and one-sixth that of heavy ion therapy equipment.

Yuan Baocheng, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, said, “IHEP has a group of experts in developing high-energy accelerators and Shenzhen HEC Group is a leading company in drug development. When the two sides work together on BNCT, we can expect a new era of cancer treatment in the next five years.”

Wang Yifang said that the BNCT project is an important start for technology transfer based on the CSNS, and IHEP will take more opportunities to cooperate with Guangdong Province and Dongguan City to help with regional innovation-driven development in the future.