Alpha Tau Medical, an Israeli medical equipment manufacturing company based in Tel Aviv, has developed a cancer treatment that proved to shrink cancer cells among 100 percent of patients tested.
This treatment is called Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Treatment), an innovative cancer treatment that only destroys aggressive tumors while sparing the healthy tissues surrounding them.
Developed in 2003 at Tel Aviv University by Physics Professor Itzhak Kelson and Immunology Professor Yona Keisari, the Alpha DaRT technology went through numerous successful preclinical studies.
Studies published in 14 papers peer-reviewed scientific journals have found the technology to be effective and safe for various indications, including tumors that are considered to be resistant to standard radiotherapy.
One of the studies involving aggressive, recurrent tumors of the skin and head and neck showed Alpha DaRT treatment led to tumor shrinkage in 100 percent of the cases while 78 percent of the cases had total tumor destruction.
Alpha particles are known in the medical community as highly lethal to cancerous cells but as it is only effective in short distance, it can be unsuitable for the treatment of cancer.
Alpha DaRT, however, overcomes this range limitation by delivering high-precision alpha radiation directly in solid tumors. The process is done by inserting Alpha DaRT seed that contains Radium-224 atoms and as the seed decays, these atoms disperse high dose of radiation inside the tumor, effectively killing cancer cells as they spare the surrounding healthy tissue.
In 2018, Alpha Tau Medical received a $29 million funding from private investors to further develop the Alpha DaRT technology, with additional production facilities being erected in Massachusetts, Israel and Japan.
Today, leading cancer centers in Israel, Canada, Japan, Russia, Italy and the United States are investigating Alpha DaRT for various tumor types, including breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers. The centers include the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Montreal University Hospital Center in Canada.