A 78-year-old woman, Leah living in central Israel had a pimple on her cheek which later turned out in skin cancer. This patient went to several doctors and they tried to remove it in many ways but in vain, eventually, a dermatologist prescribed a biopsy and find out that it was skin cancer.
She was given local anesthesia for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma using Alpha DaRT radiation therapy by the Alpha Tau Medical, a company that is bringing new horizons for advanced treatment of cancer.
They are recently developing an alpha-emitting radiation therapy that attacks tumors only. Several clinical trials are ongoing in many countries around the world to test the treatment. Their technology has experimented with head and neck cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
After the diagnosis, she began a sequence of appointments with doctors, treatment attempts, and tests and in the meantime, her cancer grew. After five-month, a new test revealed that cancer has further spread in five different points on her cheek. The physicians suggested plastic surgery as a solution for completely removing and replacing her cheek, preceded by radiation therapy. She had to make a decision in a week.
But it felt wrong, Leah recalled. Later her friend told her about Alpha Tau Medical and its recent research. So she decided to receive their treatment.
Within a few days, she received the treatment in which 14 Alpha DaRT seeds were inserted in her cheek for irradiation of alpha particles.
Leah shared that during the whole period, she didn’t feel anything. She had a big plaster on her cheeks and was told to come for a checkup in 18 days. She experienced no adverse effects at all. She added that her cancer was cured with this treatment and it’s been two years and it has not reappeared.
The outcomes of the first completed trial of Alpha DaRT showed that 78.6% of the patients experienced 100% tumor reduction and 21.4% of the participants had reductions between 30 to 100%. This trial was conducted in Italy and in Israel on patients having squamous cell carcinoma in their head or neck region.
Alpha particle treatment was already known for being effective cancerous cells before Alpha Tau came along, but it was not known clearly how to make them reach their targets as they have a limited capacity of traveling.
The CFO of Alpha Tau Medical, Raphi Levi said more research is needed to prove that it can be effective for all kinds of solid tumors. He added that it is their goal to provide an alternative treatment to all the cancer patients in the world. A treatment that is more effective and has fewer side effects.
An Israeli couple, Jonath and Na’ama Ellman living in the United States, brought their two-year-old son Ari to the emergency for uncontrolled vomiting. Later the doctors realized it was because of a large tumor in the lower region of his brain.
The doctors decided to remove the tumor with a transnasal endoscopic skull-based surgery. It is a complex procedure but doctors had already successfully treated relevant cases in the past but it had never been performed on such a young baby, which made it more challenging.
A team of doctors at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital agreed to operate it with the help of Israeli technology. Fortunately, it was a successful surgery that lasted for 18 hours. Ari is now living a happy and normal life.