Okayama University Designated as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Collaborating Center

National University Corporation Okayama University
[Okayama University] Designated as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Collaborating Center

October 3, 2022
National University Corporation Okayama University
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National University Corporation Okayama University (Headquarters: Kita-ku, Okayama City; President: Hiroshi Makino) has received approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, to administer Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT), one of the cancer treatments. , and the agreement was signed at the IAEA Headquarters on September 26, 2022. This is the fourth institution designated by the IAEA in Japan.
Taking this designation as an opportunity, Okayama University will work closely with the IAEA to develop technology for BNCT, a new-generation cancer treatment, especially drugs and accelerator systems, and the development of educational programs to develop highly specialized human resources. While fulfilling our role as a research university that plays a central role in the region, we will promote BNCT research, development, and education, establish a global base, and contribute to the well-being of the world.
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IAEA Under-Secretary-General Najat Mokhtar and President Hiroshi Makino (right) signing the agreement
◆ Background
Okayama University and the IAEA have been conducting joint research for many years on BNCT, a cancer radiation therapy that uses neutrons and boron. In 2016, we concluded a research and education agreement on BNCT, and collaborated to formulate an international standard for BNCT (TECDOC), which was renewed in 2020.
In BNCT, a drug containing boron is preferentially taken up by tumor cells, and then the tumor area is irradiated with neutrons, resulting in a highly targeted treatment of the tumor cells. Another advantage is that a very short-range nuclear reaction occurs inside the cell between the neutron and the boron atoms in the tumor, preserving healthy tissue.
◆Future activities at the IAEA Collaborating Center and Okayama University  The IAEA promotes cooperation with designated agencies around the world to promote the use of nuclear technology. Through its network, the Collaborative Center conducts its own development and training related to nuclear research and its safe and reliable application. There are currently 58 IAEA Collaborating Centers in 36 countries. In response to this designation, Okayama University will implement the following.
・Support for research institutes aiming to construct BNCT facilities ・Provision of education and training for BNCT experts
・ Acceptance of young female graduate students interested in this field through the IAEA’s “Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Program” ・ Development of standard protocol to support BNCT
In addition, Okayama University plans to translate the existing medical physics course on BNCT into English and provide it to more people around the world, as well as organize research on the measurement of the tissue distribution of boron medicines.
◆ Comments on the Agreement
-Comment from Najat Moktar, IAEA Under-Secretary-General-
This Okayama University collaboration center agreement was concluded at a time when interest in BNCT was growing widely around the world. Okayama University will be a good focal point for IAEA activities in this field.
-Comment from Hiroshi Makino, President of Okayama University- With the designation of Okayama University as an IAEA Collaborating Center, we will continue to work closely with the IAEA to further accelerate the development of new-generation BNCT technology and educational programs. In addition, as a global base for research, development and education of BNCT, we would like to actively disseminate information and contribute to the health and peace of the world.
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IAEA Under-Secretary-General Najat Mokhtar holding up the signed agreement with President Hiroshi Makino (right)
About Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)
Growing global interest in the progress of BNCT
 In recent years, the size of accelerator-type neutron sources used in medical care has progressed, making it possible to install them in hospitals. As a result, it has become possible to register it as a medical device and perform BNCT in the clinical setting.
Cyclotron-based BNCT systems, treatment planning devices, and boron-containing drugs are currently approved in Japan for the treatment of unresectable, recurrent head and neck cancer. This has generated worldwide interest, companies are entering the market and many new facilities are being built or planned. There are now more than 30 facilities engaged in BNCT-related work.
In May 2001, the IAEA published a technical document on neutron capture therapy (IAEA-TECDOC-1223) “Current status of neutron capture therapy”. More than 20 years after the publication of
IAEA-TECDOC-1223, boron (boron-10) used in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) has changed from borocaptate (BSH) to
boronophenylalanine (BPA), and neutron sources have changed from nuclear reactors to accelerators. , and the scope of indication has expanded from brain tumor to head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, etc.
In 2020, BNCT medical treatment using an accelerator BNCT system for head and neck cancer began in Japan ahead of the rest of the world, and clinical trials for skin cancer (malignant melanoma or
angiosarcoma) started in 2019. increase. BNCT projects using accelerator systems have started one after another around the world, and the IAEA will serve as the secretariat, and an expert meeting on BNCT will be held from October 28th to November 1st, 2019. Technical documents on BNCT will be developed at the technical conference from July 27 to 31, 2020, the expert conference from December 13 to 17, 2021, and the technical conference from March 14 to 18, 2022. has been supported by Okayama University. Final adjustments are being made for the publication of TECDOC.
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Presentation of a plate certifying the designation of the IAEA Collaborating Center (photo from left)
Takeshi Hikihara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna
Najat Moktar, Under-Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Hiroshi Makino, President of Okayama University
Yasutomo Nasu Okayama University Executive Director (in charge of research) and Director of the Neutron Medical Research Center 〇 IAEA release from below
 IAEA, Japan’s Okayama University to Work Together on Advancing Boron Neutron Capture Therapy to Help Fight Cancer
 https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-japans-okayama-university-to-work-together-on-advancing-boron-neutron-capture-therapy-to-help-fight-cancer ◆ Reference
・IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
・Neutron Medical Research Center (NTRC), Okayama University
・Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University
・Okayama University Hospital
◆ Reference information
・Report on the current status of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) at the side event of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Assembly
・Concluded an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on new cancer treatment methods
· Held a web conference to sign an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA Continue to develop the agreement on the latest cancer radiotherapy method BNCT
・Holding a workshop “Research and Education on Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)”
・Beat cancer with “boron” and “peptide”! Developing new
high-performance boron drugs that can be used for cancer treatment and BNCT
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Okayama University Shikata Campus (Kita Ward, Okayama City) where the Neutron Medical Research Center of Okayama University is located ◆ Inquiries regarding this matter
 Kazuyo Igawa, Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Neutron Medical Research Center (NTRC), Okayama University
Okayama University Shikata Campus, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture 700-8558
 TEL: 086-235-7785
-Inquiries regarding Okayama University’s industry-academia-government collaboration-
 Okayama University Organization for Research Promotion Headquarters for Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration
 1-1-1 Tsushimanaka, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture 700-8530  Okayama University Tsushima Campus Main Building 1F  TEL: 086-251-8463
E-mail: sangaku◎okayama-u.ac.jp
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