THERYQ has signed an agreement with The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to develop FLASHDEEP, a revolutionary FLASH radiotherapy device that will use very high energy electron (VHEE) radiation to treat cancers resistant to conventional treatments. The first device, based on CERN technology, will be installed at CHUV.
This development represents a very important hope to increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy, for the greatest benefit of patients. By reducing irradiation to a few milliseconds, FLASH radiotherapy considerably reduces side effects while increasing the effectiveness on tumors.
The tripartite agreement covers collaboration on the development, planning, regulatory compliance and construction of the world's first radiotherapy device using the FLASH technique with very high energy electrons. THERYQ will produce this unique device that uses a compact linear accelerator based on CERN technology. The device is expected to be operational within two years. The first clinical trials are planned for 2025.
A device not limited by the depth of penetration of low energy electrons…
By integrating the innovative compact linear accelerator technology developed by CERN, FLASHDEEP will use very high energy electron beams (VHEE) of 100 to 200 MeV, 10 to 20 times more powerful than those of FLASHKNiFE. This extra power will allow FLASH treatment of all types of cancers up to a depth of 20 cm.
CERN has responded to the challenge of producing a high dose of very high energy electrons in less than 100 milliseconds, required for FLASH radiotherapy, by designing a unique accelerator based on CLIC (Compact Linear Collider) technology. It will accelerate electrons to treat tumors up to 20 cm deep and will be compact enough to fit in a typical hospital campus. THERYQ has secured an exclusivity with CERN to use the CLIC technology in FLASHDEEP.
VHEE FLASH technology has several advantages. High-energy electrons can be focused and oriented in a way that is not possible with X-rays, and radiotherapy devices based on CERN’s electron accelerator technology will be significantly more compact and less expensive than current proton-based therapy facilities.
FLASHDEEP Clinical Applications
From the first studies in 2013 on the FLASH effect to the first patient with skin cancer successfully treated in 2019, THERYQ has supported the development of FLASH therapy, particularly through a long-standing partnership with CHUV. The company has developed FLASHKNiFE, for external or intraoperative FLASH radiotherapy (10 MeV), treating superficial or shallow tumors (up to 3 cm).
FLASHDEEP with its very high energy electron beams (VHEE) will be the first device capable of treating any type of solid tumor up to a depth of 20 cm. This device has the potential to expand the use of radiotherapy in oncology and unlock new treatments for patients with cancer, as well as decrease treatment cost.
Due to its high level of energy, FLASHDEEP can treat every kind of solid tumor that would benefit from an external beam radiotherapy, either as palliative treatment, curative therapy, or as adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy, depending on the physical state of the cancerous tumor. The most frequent indications will be: prostate cancer, head & neck cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma…
FLASHDEEP Regulatory and Clinical Pathway
After delivering the first unit to CHUV, THERYQ will partner with several other institutions in France and in the world to carry on the clinical trials and to go through the regulatory process in every country. THERYQ will then include FLASHDEEP in its own product range and will offer FLASHDEEP worldwide.