City of Hope Purchases RefleXion’s X1 and Signs Collaboration Agreement to Offer Novel Clinical Trials to Test BgRT*
September 2, 2020
City of Hope announced in a press release last week that they are the first in Southern California and the second in the United States to adopt RefleXion’s novel radiotherapy technology that may one day change the treatment options for metastatic cancer patients. The hospital, an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, purchased RefleXion’s X1 machine while also revealing their future participation in RefleXion’s clinical trial program.
The X1 platform is built for today with a pathway to biology-guided radiotherapy (BgRT)* in the future. With BgRT, the X1 will be the first-ever machine to combine targeted radiation therapy with positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging—the gold standard cancer staging and imaging technique—to direct radiotherapy delivery to a tumor to destroy it. This will occur in sub-second latency, even if the tumor is moving due to breathing or digestion.
According to City of Hope’s press release, Jeffrey Wong, M.D., chair of its Department of Radiation Oncology explains, “If we think of cancer as enemy combatants hiding in the jungle at night, biology-guided radiotherapy is like a group of veteran snipers wearing thermal imaging goggles to see all opponents regardless of where they’re hiding or going, and these sharpshooters can then precisely target the enemy for a kill.”
The hospital has also signed a collaboration agreement with RefleXion to offer novel clinical trials to test and perfect next-generation treatments that use BgRT technology. According to their Director of the Division of Radiation Physics, An Liu, Ph.D., “The technology may one day allow us to provide therapy to more patients with metastatic disease.” The initial clinical trials will test the safety and efficacy of BgRT on patients with metastatic cancers.
In oncology, the stakes can be high because technologies are expensive to procure, and customers are often reluctant to break from their established purchase patterns. “With two major sales under its belt and more in the works, RefleXion is clearly laying the foundation to be a game-changer in cancer care.
The company’s Co-founder and CTO, Sam Mazin, Ph.D., began to think of the idea for BgRT more than a decade ago when he attended a lecture on radiation physics as a postdoc focused on medical imaging in the Radiological Sciences Lab at Stanford. The lecture touched on the difficulty of seeing cancer tumors during treatment. Mazin began to think about whether individual tumor emissions could be used as a homing signal or biological marker to guide radiotherapy to the tumor’s location. By combining PET with a linear accelerator to treat cancer, Mazin conceptualized turning cancer on itself to destroy it.
City of Hope is a leader in immunotherapy, and its translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. The hospital is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, and it has been ranked among the nation’s “Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report for 14 consecutive years.
*The RefleXion™ X1 is cleared for SBRT/SRS/IMRT treatments. BgRT is limited by U.S. law to Investigational use.