Alpha Tau Medical Ltd, an Israeli biotech company, conducts R&D and commercialisation of the Alpha DaRT™ (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy), a novel cancer treatment that destroys aggressive tumors while sparing healthy tissue. The Alpha DaRT technology was initially developed in 2003 by Tel Aviv University researchers Prof. Itzhak Kelson and Prof. Yona Keisari.

According to Alpha Tau Medical Ltd., the medical community is already well aware of the fact that Alpha particles are highly lethal to cancerous cells. They create complex double-strand DNA breaks such that only a few hits to the cell nucleus are required to kill the cancer cell.

Alpha particles had, however, been rendered unsuitable for the treatment of cancer due to their short range in tissue. To overcome this problem, the researchers at Tel Aviv University developed Alpha DaRT, which clears the way for Alpha radiation based treatment of solid tumors.

The treatment is delivered by intratumoral insertion of the Alpha DaRT seed that contains Radium-224 atoms embedded below its surface. In the process of decay, Radium-224 releases its short-lived Alpha-emitting atoms into the tumor. By diffusion and convection, these atoms disperse to a therapeutically significant range of several millimeters, delivering a high dose of radiation inside the tumor.

The findings emanating from the Alpha DaRT research and development have so far been published in 15 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers. One of the most recent papers was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

In recent findings, Alpha DaRT showed almost 80 percent of the patients with squamous cell carcinoma received a complete tumour response rate; all patients responded to the treatment to some degree. It was further reported that there was no systemic toxicity and only moderate local side effects that resolved within a few weeks.

The Jerusalem Post reveals that many leading cancer centers all over the world are now investigating Alpha DaRT for various tumor types, including breast and pancreas. Centres in Israel, Canada, Japan, Russia, Italy and USA are involved in these trials. In the US, prestigious institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Montreal University Hospital Center (CHUM) are involved.

I look forward to following the progress of Alpha DaRT and I will keep on updating you as we go along. For now let me leave you with the interesting interview below.

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