Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FRINGE (Fluorescence and Reactive oxygen Intermediates by Neutron Generated electronic Excitation as a foundation for radically new cancer therapies)
Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-10-31
The relative survival rate for adults diagnosed with GBM is less than 30% within one year of diagnosis, and only 3% of patients live longer than five years after initial diagnosis. With over 28,000 new cases of malignant GBM diagnosed every year in the European Union (EU) and the 240,000 patients globally each year, research for new therapies is urgently needed.
The goal of the FRINGE project is to lay the foundation for a new treatment, proposing a genuinely new neutron-activated technology. The project aims to provide proof-of-principle for this future technology. At its heart are chemical agents, photosensitisers normally used in photomedical therapies activated by light, , that will accumulate in the tumours especially in brain cancers where the blood brain barrier is compromised. The photosensitisers designed for FRINGE will contain metal centres like Gadolinium (Gd) to enable interaction with incoming neutrons and facilitate the transfer of neutron energy into electron excitation and of the chemical agent, similarly to what happens with light. Fluorescence emission will confirm the success of the action. The interaction with ambient oxygen will then generate reactive oxygen species that will kill the tumour cells from the inside.
If successful, FRINGE is expected to revolutionise the medical practice in oncology and neutron-based approaches in particular, which are currently in decline and the related infrastructure remains unused. Overall, the FRINGE consortium estimates that the therapy could enter clinical trials as soon as 5-10 years after the end of the project. The successful project will furthermore trigger new business options revolving around the commercialisation of new chemical agents and drugs, while another part will be developing new services, for example, by reactor or accelerator-based treatment centres and/or specialised medical services.