Alpha particles are known to be very destructive to tumor cells. They cause direct, irreparable damage to the cell DNA and lead to cell death. However, the range in which alpha particles can travel in tissue is very limited. Therefore, until now, it was not possible to use alpha particles as a locally delivered treatment for solid tumors. 

The Alpha DaRT technology relies on the diffusion of atoms that emit alpha particles within the tumor tissue, in order to overcome the short-range limitation of alpha particles. The extended range to which the alpha radiation can reach enables the potential treatment of the entire tumor. 

The Alpha DaRT technology is based on small, extremely precise amounts of radioactive radium-224 affixed to metal sources that are inserted into the tumor itself. When radium-224 decays, it releases radioactive atoms with short lifespans that diffuse inside the tumor. These atoms emit short-range alpha radiation that damages and kills cancer cells within a short period of time.

The Radium-224 Decay Chain
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Alpha DaRT possesses unique characteristics that may significantly optimize the efficacy, safety, and convenience of cancer treatment: 

 

  • Higher linear energy transfer inherent to alpha radiation, which can produce rapid and improved “kill” rates of cancer cells.  

  • Irreversible break of both DNA strands, preventing cancer cell repair.  

  • Designed to treat a limited range, sparing surrounding tissues.  

  • Potentially stimulating an immune response to the primary tumor, which might also be harnessed in destroying metastases throughout the body.  

  • Mechanism is independent of tumor oxygen level – Alpha radiation’s mechanism of cell destruction is independent of cell cycle stage and oxygenation level of the tumor. Hence, the Alpha DaRT treatment may possess an advantage in application to hypoxic tumors which demonstrate resistance to gamma radiation. 

  • Lower levels of exposure – reducing the radiation risk or need for radiation safety measures for both the patient and the physicians. 

  • Ultra-minimally invasive applicators – The company has developed proprietary ultra-minimally invasive applicators that can be utilized for various types of tumors within different anatomic areas. 

  • Minimal capital expenditure - Since Alpha DaRT applicators are disposable and the treatment does not require significant capital equipment or special shielding, Alpha DaRT can be made more broadly available to millions of patients worldwide,  compared to other radiation therapy paradigms. 

  • Potential utility in all solid tumor types: in our pre-clinical studies across multiple types of tumor to date, no tumor type has been found to be completely resistant to Alpha DaRT.   

Alpha DaRT™ Technology