Israeli medical device firm Alpha Tau Medical has announced that the first pancreatic cancer patient has been treated using Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy) in a feasibility and safety study.

The patient with advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer was treated at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) in Montreal, Canada.

Alpha DaRT is being developed to deliver potent and conformal alpha radiation to destroy solid tumours by intratumoural delivery of radium-224 impregnated sources, without affecting the healthy tissue surrounding the tumour.

Short-lived daughter radioisotopes will be released and diffused from the sources when the radium decays. They emit high-energy alpha particles to destroy the tumour.

Alpha Tau CEO Uzi Sofer said: “Getting this trial underway is another huge milestone for the Company, as we continue to focus on treating tumours in internal organs.

“We would like to thank Dr Corey Miller of the JGH for enrolling and treating the first patient in this very important feasibility and safety trial.

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“This trial is a cornerstone of our overall strategy to broaden the use of the Alpha DaRT in other hard-to-treat indications such as cancers of the brain, lung, vulva and breast.”

Alpha Tau plans to enrol 30 patients with Stage II, III, or IV pancreatic cancer and those with an inoperable pancreatic tumour, for the feasibility study of Alpha DaRT.

The study is designed to evaluate the safety, feasibility and efficacy of Alpha DaRT for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.

Metrics such as overall response rate, overall survival and change in blood levels of CA19-9 will be studied to determine the efficacy.

In June 2021, the company secured Breakthrough Device Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Alpha DaRT for the indication of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin and oral cavity without curative standard of care.