Our goal: mobile tumor treatments using image guided radiotherapy to avoid heavy consequences.
Today, ChromaLys develops and sells new innovative nano-markers for biological and preclinical imaging allowing accurate visualization of cancerous tumors.
Our Tumor-Track project uses one of our multimodal nano-markers (MultiLys) to better target mobile tumors * during an image guided radiotherapy treatment.
*A mobile tumor moves during the treatment, following the patient’s breathing.
In France only, 200,000 cancers are treated by radiotherapy each year.
Current limits of radiotherapy
Radiotherapy involves destroying tumor cells by sending high energy radiation.
This treatment is non-selective, and must be perfectly targeted to minimize collateral damages to surrounding healthy tissues. The challenge is even more complex when it comes to pectoral or abdominal tumors, which naturally move with the patient’s breathing.
Mobile tumors are found in abdomen (liver, stomach) or lungs. They move with this part of the body to the breathing rhythm. This relative mobility makes them difficult to treat by radiotherapy.
The Tumor-Track project
ChromaLys proposes to enhance the mobile cancer tumors treatments by:
– Improving the treatment targeting mechanism, to considerably minimize side effects on surrounding healthy tissues
– Increasing the radiotherapy curative treatment teffectiveness
– A dynamic approach between an injectable tumor marker and a clinical imaging device
“Tumor Track will make possible to optimize existing radiotherapy treatments while reducing undesirable effects and costs: a rarely achieved ideal in human health.”
Thanks to Tumor Track technology, the radiation monitors breath movements
The Tumor-Track project consists in coupling radiotherapy robot movements with those of mobile tumors. This can be achieved by labeling tumors with an easily detectable product (without any surgical intervention) by the imaging device embedded on this robot (usually used for positioning the patient by x-ray radiography).
Cancer cells labeling
The injectable MultiLys marker is durable inside the tumor for several weeks. Because it greatly improves the contrast and the X-ray images quality, the labeled tumor evolution can easily be monitored during or even after the radiotherapy treatment.
It is already marketed at small scale for preclinical imaging on laboratory animals. For an international development on human being, we must develop it for different applications (pathologies). Indeed, each targeted cancer type requires an adaptation of the MultiLys product.
“Tumor Track is the enslavement of direct control of radiation (radiotherapy) to movements of a mobile tumor previously labeled with an easily detectable product. “
First application: find a better way to treat liver cancer by radiotherapy
Our first target is the primary liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This is a typical mobile tumor that can not be treated easily by IGRT because tumor X-ray contrast is very weak compared to that of healthy liver.
Consequently, HCC treatment constitue for us, both, a proof of concept and a first market. A little bit later, we will extend Tumor-Track technology to other hepatic tumors (secondary metastases) then to other mobile tumors (lung, prostate, pancreas…)
A more efficient and less costly technique
Healthcare will be optimized (more efficient and shorter treatments) and unwanted peripheral effects will be greatly reduced.
This technique will allow to increase the delivrated radiation power over a reduced number of sessions in order to treat tumors more efficiently. This session number reduction will lead to an important economic gain for the society. Indeed, the patient will undergo only 4 to 6 sessions of radiotherapy instead of the current 30 or 40.
Hepatocellular carcinoma infew data:
– 1 of the 5 most common cancers in the world
– 3rd cause of cancer-related deaths
– 500,000 cases per year worldwide
– Today, only 30% of patients can benefit from curative surgical treatment (transplantation, resection)
How much are needed?
During the summer of 2016, ChromaLys raised € 300,000 from various Business Angels.
This money has been used to complete toxicity, bio-distribution and tumor labeling tests on animals and cells culture. These preclinical tests are an essential prerequisite before human being trials.
For these trials on human being, an additional € 4 M, divided into 2 instalments : € 1 M in 2018 and € 3 M in 2019, will be needed to cover the 2018-2020 period before to get the market authorization scheduled for 2021.