Advanced Oncotherapy Plc (LON:AVO), the developer of next-generation proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, provided today the following technological update.
The LIGHT system has been designed to electronically control the fast delivery of protons to the tumour site. This unique ability provides the opportunity to alter the exact amount of radiation that is given to every part of the tumour in a few micro-seconds. This feature is invaluable for accurate tumour targeting and side-effect minimisation, particularly in the case of moving targets. As part of its testing and regulatory plan, the Company has developed a Time-of-Flight (“TOF”) measurement system which measures the speed of the beam; this allows the system to measure the energy of each proton pulse, which is a very important clinical parameter.
TOF testing of beam energy control and adjustment has proved to be successful with real-time results demonstrating remarkably good agreement with computer simulations. The accurate evaluation of the beam energy requires measurement of time differences to picosecond precision (a picosecond being the time it takes light to travel one third of a millimetre).
In the meantime, the Company continues to make significant progress with power testing of the Side Coupled Drift Tube Linac (“SCDTL”) integrated with the Radiofrequency Quadrupole (“RFQ”) and proton source. With much of the technological development now de-risked, the Company is on target to have a system capable of treating superficial tumours by the end of Q3 2018.
Jonathan Farr, Director of Medical Physics at Advanced Oncotherapy Plc, said: “Proton therapy is a high precision patient treatment. In proton therapy, the beam energy determines the depth of dose deposition in the patient. Because of the protons stopping in the patient’s body during treatment, we would like to know the proton beam energy at the instant it is delivered. The new Advanced Oncotherapy Time-of-Flight on-line energy measurement feature gives us the ability to do just that. I consider it to be a real advancement from previous and existing systems on the market and a key building block in offering more versatile treatments with the potential for significantly improved clinical outcomes.”