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Advanced Oncotherapy announces positive results from comparative study

"We have important milestones ahead of us, including our first site in Harley Street which we expect to be soon ready for fit-out, and we reiterate our commitment to treat our first patients towards the end of 2020," said chief executive officer, Nicolas Serandour
Patient scanning machine
LIGHT has been designed to tackle most of the costs associated with the set-up of a proton therapy centre whilst providing greater patient access

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) was lifted by positive results from its comparative study on the LIGHT system, the company's proprietary proton accelerator.

The cancer treatment company said the results further demonstrate the competitive advantages of the system.

READ Advanced Oncotherapy rises as it obtains international quality standard for LIGHT system

The study, which was performed by Advanced Oncotherapy's research & development team in Geneva, compared LIGHT against conventional cyclotrons (particle accelerators) that use energy degraders, focusing on the efficiency in terms of delivering protons to the patient; higher efficiency requires less protective shielding from harmful radiation.

The analysis showed that LIGHT had a transmission of more than 95% for all the energies required to treat cancer patients. In contrast, the transmission of a conventional cyclotron with energy degraders is less than 20% for an energy of 170MeV (170mln electron volts), and less than 50% for an energy of 210MeV.

“The results of this study provide further evidence that LIGHT has been designed to make cancer treatment more affordable and accessible by reducing concerns over safety and lowering the costs associated with the extensive shielding requirements needed with traditional technologies,” Advanced Onco said.

"Proton therapy systems use accelerators which increase the speed of the protons from zero to 60%, the speed of light,” explained Professor Stephen Myers, the executive chairman of Advanced Onco's research & development unit.

“The first type of accelerator to do this was the cyclotron which accelerates protons to single high speed in an outward spiral where they come out of the machine. The required proton speed depends on the patient case - how deep their cancer is in their body. Usually, the patient needs lower speed than the cyclotron produces, so the protons must be slowed down by mechanically moving thick pieces of carbon into the proton beam, called the energy degrader; however, these degraders waste many of the protons in the slowing down process, demanding thick, expensive radiation shielding and reducing the number of protons available for the patient's treatment,” he added.

"This study shows how fundamentally different the LIGHT system is. Instead of accelerating protons in a spiral, LIGHT speeds up the protons in a straight line. This design results in a much higher transmission, and this opens up a myriad of benefits for patients and customers," Professor Myers said.

Nicolas Serandour, the chief executive officer of Advanced Oncotherapy, said the results of the test highlighted the competitive advantages of the LIGHT system.

“Due to the high efficiency of LIGHT at all energies, patient treatment times are not expected to depend on how deep their cancer is in their body. Having an efficient source of protons available for treatment is becoming more critical as patient daily treatment doses are following a rising trend, placing additional demand on the machine to avoid longer treatment times,” Serandour said.

Shares in Advanced Onco were up 1.1% at 45p in early deals.

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