Liang added that BNCT is an effective treatment for head and neck tumors, and can also potentially treat liver, lung and pancreatic cancers.
The accelerator-based BNCT experimental cility passed evaluation by experts on Thursday, said its developer, the Institute of High Energy Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Both alpha particles and lithium nuclei have a very short impact range, just one-cell long, so they will not damage neighboring tissue while killing the cancerous cells, said Liang.
Compared with traditional methods of radiation, BNCT does not lead to huge economic burden, enabling patients to maintain a high quality of life after treatment, Liang said.
Scientists will continue to optimize the accelerator-based BNCT cility and plan to carry out clinical trials soon, according to its developer.
According to Liang Tianjiao, deputy director of the institutes Dongguan branch, radiation therapy starts by injecting the patient with a boron-containing drug that can accumulate in cancer cells. The patient is then irradiated with a neutron beam for less than an hour. When the boron in the cancer cells is hit by the neutron beam, the resulting nuclear capture and fission reactions produce high-energy alpha particles and lithium nuclei, which can destroy cancer cells with high accuracy.
BNCT is recognized as a cutting-edge technique for cancer treatment. Using neutron beams, it delivers cancer-killing power concentrated on boron compound-bearing tumors with minimal harm to surrounding healthy tissue.
In March, the worlds first accelerator-based BNCT cility and boron-containing drug were approved and entered clinical trials in Japan.
Chinese scientists announced on Thursday that they have started cell and animal tests for the countrys first indigenously-developed boron neutron capture therapy cility (BNCT), before applying the technology on cancer patients.
Fu Shinian, deputy manager of CSNS, said neutron beams for BNCT in past decades were generated by nuclear reactors, which slowed its development. Since the CSNS project was completed in 2022, institute scientists have used CSNS accelerators to produce neutron beams, BNCT easier and widely available in hospitals.
Accelerator technology from the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), a large scientific cility located in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, has been key to the development of the countrys indigenously-developed BNCT cility.Chinas radiation cancer therapy cility starts cell, animal tests