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Clinical Centers in Japan

by Naonori Hu

Over decades of dedicated research and development in BNCT by many researchers from all over the world, treatment of certain cancers using an accelerator based BNCT system has begun in Japan. This has been made possible by a strong teamwork between multidisciplinary professionals, including enterprises. A summary of the clinical centres providing BNCT services in Japan are shown below:

Osaka Medical College – Kansai BNCT Medical Center

The Kansai BNCT Medical Center (located in the city of Takatsuki, Osaka prefecture) opened in June 2018 and is currently performing clinical BNCT services within Japan. It was designed for not only performing clinical BNCT, but also performing basic research and development to improve treatment techniques and expanding the application of BNCT to other types of cancers. It is equipped with a cyclotron based epithermal neutron source (NeuCureTM System) developed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in collaboration with Kyoto University BNCT group.  
Insurance covered treatment
As of 1st of June, the NeuCureTM System has been approved to perform clinical BNCT under the Japanese national health insurance system. Currently, only the treatment of locally unresectable recurrent or unresectable advanced head and neck cancer is covered by the national health insurance. At this moment, this treatment is only available to patients that reside in Japan. However, the plan is to allow patients from overseas to receive treatment in the near future. More information can be found here (in Japanese). 
Clinical trial
This center is performing a phase 2 clinical trial of grade 2 and 3 recurrent meningioma. This clinical trial is only available to Japanese citizens. More information can be found here (in Japanese).


Southern Tohoku Hospital Group – BNCT Research Center

The Southern Tohoku BNCT Research Center (located in the city of Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture) opened in November 2015 and is currently performing clinical BNCT services.
Insurance covered treatment
This center is also equipped with the NeuCureTM System and offers the same clinical service as Kansai BNCT Medical Center for the treatment of locally unresectable recurrent or unresectable advanced head and neck cancer. More information can be found here (in Japanese). 
Clinical trial
None.


National Cancer Center Japan

The National Cancer Center (located in Chou city, Tokyo) started BNCT development in 2010 in collaboration with Cancer Intelligence Care Systems (CICS). This center is equipped with a radio frequency quadrupole linear accelerator and a solid lithium target. 
Insurance covered treatment
None. 
Clinical trial
This center is currently performing a phase 1 clinical trial for malignant melanoma and angiosarcoma. Patients who have been diagnosed histopathologically with tumors originating on the skin and no lymph node metastasis or distance metastasis are considered for the trial. More information can be found here.

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