A Polish Product of the Future from Świerk will help cancer patients

On March 1 in Warsaw, Polish Product of the Future recognitions were awarded in this year 20th anniversary competition organized by PARP and NCBiR. The winner was the IntraLine-IOERT intraoperative accelerator built at the NCBJ. The competition promotes innovative products and technologies which have a chance to appear on the domestic and the global market.

IntraLine-IOERT is an electron accelerator used for irradiation of tissues affected with a tumor. It was built in National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Świerk in cooperation with the Greater Poland Cancer Centre (WCO). It is an intraoperative accelerator, used for irradiation during the surgery, right after surgical removal of the tumor. The accelerator provides a therapeutic beam of electrons, which penetrates the infected tissue to a pre-set depth and kills the cancer cells. Penetration’s depth can be set by the physician, depending on the expected breadth of the lesions that are left after surgery. The device finds its use mostly in the treatment of breast cancer, but is also applicable in treatment of other tumors. The benefits for the patients include, above all, reduction of inconveniences associated with typical oncological irradiations. The risk of side effects and complications (for example dermal) is also greatly reduced.

“The accelerator’s method of use forces it to be mobile, to be easily used in the surgery room” – as explained by dr Agnieszka Syntfeld-Każuch, IntraDose project manager. The device was built as a part of this project. “Thanks to many innovative solutions figured out by my colleagues, scientists and designers from Świerk, the IntraLine-IOERT accelerator meets all requirements set by physicians. It couldn’t be any other way, because doctors and medical physicists from the Greater Poland Cancer Centre were active in the process of designing it from the beginning.”

The Polish accelerator has multiple advantages compared to the two similar devices that are currently present on the market. It allows the user to work in a vast energy spectrum , it is light, it can easily fit through a typical door to a surgery room, the applicator chosen for the irradiation field’s size can be quickly and comfortably attach to the body of the device and can be positioned at virtually any angle to the operating table. Moreover, the accelerator’s leaking radiation level is low enough not to harm the patient’s healthy organs and the medical personnel.

What’s next? “Under continuous cooperation with WCO we have planned to set up the first device in Poznań” – says dr Syntfeld-Każuch. “It will be also a reference unit for potential clients. Efforts have been made to introduce the product on the American market as well. We are sure, that the Polish Product of the Future award will greatly help us with achieving our goals and will allow us to give the next device to the thousands of waiting patients.”