Alpha DaRT developed at Tel Aviv University and commercialized by Alpha Tau Medical enables the first radiotherapy treatment based on alpha emitters for solid tumors. The high-energy alpha particles are released into the tumor and destroy the tumor cells’ DNA causing immediate tumor cell death with minor side effects. Multiple preclinical and clinical trials showed that Alpha DaRT is effective and safe for treating solid tumors achieving high control of local and metastatic cancers, and can be augmented when combined with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Now, the company collaborates with major key opinion leaders worldwide to launch further clinical trials at top cancer centers, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering New York, MD Anderson Texas, Gustave Roussy France, Evangelische Kliniken Gelsenkirchen Germany, National Cancer Center Japan and TATA Memorial Hospital Mumbai.
About Alpha Tau Medical
Alpha Tau Medical is a MedTech company focusing on R&D and commercіalіzatіon of Alpha DaRT (Dіffusіng Alpha-emіtters Radіatіon Therapy) for the treatment of solіd malignant cancer (lat. Carcinoma). The Alpha DaRT technology was invented by Prof. Yona Keisari from the School of Medicine and Prof. Itzhak Kelson from the Physics Department at Tel Aviv University. Numerous preclinical and clinical studіes have found the technology to be effectіve and safe for varіous іndіcatіons, іncludіng tumors consіdered to be resіstant to standard radіotherapy.
Why To Use Alpha Radiation?
There are many types of cancer treatments, with different levels of effectiveness. However, all existing treatments include substantial health risks or damage to the patient.
Alpha particles are highly lethal to cancerous cells, creating complex double-strand DNA breaks, and only a few hits to the cell nucleus are sufficient to kill the cancer cell. However, as a result of their short range in tissue, alpha particles are rarely used for the treatment of cancer.
The revolutionary finding from Tel Aviv University overcomes this range limitation and enables the use of alpha radiation for effective treatment of solid tumors, including those resistant to standard radiotherapy. Clinical and preclinical research indicated that the treatment spares the surrounding healthy tissue and excluded adverse systemic effects.
Alpha DaRT radiotherapy of skin tumors is delivered in a single session of about 60 min, in a normal procedure room under local anesthesia. Alpha DaRT seeds are directly inserted into the tumor using brachytherapy techniques. Once in touch with the tumor tissue, radioactive atoms fixed on the seeds (Radium-224) release their alpha-emitting daughter atoms into the tumor. By diffusion and convection, these atoms disperse to a therapeutically significant range of several millimeters while emitting alpha particles and destroying the tumor from inside. Thanks to the short half-life of Radium-224 (3.66 days), the high radiation dose is delivered in a short period of merely 15 days.
Eight mouse-tumor models and ten human-derived tumors, implanted in athymic mice, establish the therapeutic effect of DaRT. After DaRT treatment, the team received colossal results; the alpha radiation killed the tumor cells and activated a strong anti-tumor immunity that reduced lung metastases.
The company is currently running clinical trials in Europe and in Israel for the treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck, and Skin. The trials have shown highly promising results and leading cancer centers worldwide are joining the effort with protocols for more cancer indications. Recently, the company has received approvals by the FDA and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) to launch a new study at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York and IRB approval at Instituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri (IFO), San Gallicano, Rome.
Furthermore, the simplicity of the Alpha DaRT treatment that is based on disposable applicators is an important advantage for rural clinics. The clinics will be able to apply the radiotherapy with no need for capital equipment or investment.
The company is working with global leading cancer centers to initiate clinical trials for prostate, breast, rectal, gynecological, renal and pancreatic cancer.