What is New Medicine Therapy?

What is New Medicine Therapy?

As for malignant melanoma that cannot be totally cured, Nivolumab (genetical recombination) jointly developed by Japanese Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Bristol-Myers Squibb, an American company, has been mass-produced and put up for sale since July, 2014 as an anti-PD-1 antibody.

Through combining with T cell’s PD-1 and preventing PD-1 from fusing with PD-L1, such a medicinal product is capable of keeping immunity uninfluenced and enhancing T cell’s attacking ability against cancer cells so as to significantly reduce negative effects imposed upon immunity by cancer cells, and boost the body’s immunity against cancer tissues. Via this way, many types of cancer can be treated effectively.

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The notable side-effects related to such a medicine include interstitial lung disease, abnormal liver function, hepatitis, thyroid disorders and other reactions occurred in the process of and after injection.

Some people may experience fever, chills, shivering, rash, itchiness, hypertension, hypotension (dizziness, headache and body shaking) and dyspnea etc. while injected or within 24 hours after injection.

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

■Definition of neutron capture therapy

It refers to a treatment method that kills cancer cells instead of normal ones with neutrons generated via an atomic furnace as well as the sensitivity-enhancing Boron reaction.

Such a treatment method is quite useful to treat malignant tumors such as cerebral tumors in which cancer cells are closely tangled with normal cells.
It is less invasive in comparison with heavy ion ray · proton ray therapy.

For normal cells, DNA is charge of setting up the cycle of cell division and the degree of cell proliferation.
However, due to some reason, this mechanism of DNA gets lost and abnormal cells, i.e. cancer cells, appear. To interrupt cancer cells’ proliferation, their DNA must be destructed.
Generally, DNA is in a double helix structure.

When radiated by radioactive rays, DNA in a cell is jeopardized. X-rays and gamma rays are capable of severing one chain of DNA, which is repairable so as to lead to highly-likely recurrence and whereas alpha rays can disconnect both DNA chains at the same time, thus making cancer cells disappear.
This is Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT).

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■Principles of Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT)

In BNCT, cancer cells are destructed by the strong particle rays such as alpha radioactive rays and particles 7Li that are emitted from a nuclear reaction between Boron 10 and the neutrons (typically, low-energy neutrons like thermal neutrons) that have already been absorbed by cancer cells.
Before treatment, it is necessary to instill boron compounds into the body of a patient and once a sufficient amount of boron compounds converges in a tumor, radiate the patient with thermal neutron rays to trigger the nuclear reaction that generates alpha radioactive rays and particles 7Li. With a working range of mere 10 micrometers, alpha radioactive rays and particles 7Li can only function towards cancer cells rather than normal ones.

■Difference between common radiotherapy and BNCT

  1. Replace X-rays, gamma rays, use alpha rays and 7Li particles
  2. Only need one time of radiation every day
  3. Merely destroy tumor cells rather than normal ones

X-rays or gamma rays usually adopted by many facilities (hospitals) in radiotherapy harm a lot of normal brain tissues while killing cancer cells, for example, a malignant neuroglioma featuring slight invasion.

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To cure cancer completely, it is inevitable to bring collateral damage upon neighboring normal brain tissues.

Distinguished from X-rays and gamma rays, alpha rays and particles 7Li of BNCT have a very short range, probably equal to the length of one cell. Additionally, they are 2~3 times more powerful than X-rays and gamma rays in terms of biological effects. Therefore, such a therapy is a much-anticipated cancer treatment.