Research

The Advanced Medical Instrumentation Unit is dedicated to conducting R&D in BNCT (Boron Neutron Capture Therapy) introducing and collaborating with technologies developed in the fields of new medical imaging, drug delivery and cancer stem cells:

Research Areas

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)

The Advanced Medical Instruments Unit applies accelerator and beam physics knowledge to the field of medicine to develop novel ways to use our knowledge to treat diseases like cancer. Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is an innovative cancer treatment procedure, which does not require that the patient suffers of pain or side effects due to surgical operations. BNCT destroys only diseased cancer cells using boron-neutron reaction; it usually provides sufficient treatment with just a single application.

The Boron Neutron Capturer Therapy (BNCT) development project is currently in the planning stage, and we are recruiting capable medical physicists and engineers to work with us.

Imaging

There are many kinds of radiation therapy being operated, but many of them do not have good imaging technique to confirm the right irradiation to the right place. Radiation imaging detector for medical application is one of the keen areas to be explored. The technology will allow us to gain more detailed and immediate images of what is going in in the body of the patient for OIST BNCT system as a whole. Especially, an Okinawa based company is famous in CdTe semiconductor, which is one of the promising materials to detect high-energy X-/gamma-rays.

We are recruiting capable postdoctoral researchers to work with us in this field.

Drug Delivery

Technology of drug delivery is becoming a hot subject in the field of medical research, either in chemical drug or immunotherapy.  Boron chemical must be concentrated in the tumor in BNCT radiation therapy.  We explore the possibility of using soft nanoparticle for this purpose.

Cancer Stem Cells (CSC)

Cancer therapy resistance may be related to a small population of self-renewing stem-like cells. Those tumor-initiating Cancer Stem Cells (CSC) have recently received a lot of attention and we are developing anti-CSC treatment strategies, in combination with new radiation therapy modalities

 

Objectives of OIST Medical Instrumentation including New Imaging, drug delivery, cancer stem cells, and BNCT

OIST BNCT is aiming to successfully and promisingly introduce a first mass-production/commercial BNCT system to the world, and to develop advanced medical imaging technology necessary to accommodate such development.

To lead OIST Medical Instrumentation including New Imaging, drug delivery, cancer stem cells and BNCT to a success, we have to have all the following components:
(1) radiation imaging system (detector physicists), (2) BNCT system (accelerator physicists), (3) drug delivery system (pharmaceutical companies and chemists), (4) understanding of cancer treatment mechanism on human body (biologists), (5) system operators and engineers, (6) medical doctors and radiation technicians at clinical practice, and (7) understanding of OIST Medical Instrumentation including New Imaging, drug delivery, cancer stem cells and BNCT project as a whole from prospective patients and general public including local government and various industries.