Hafnium oxide nanoparticles activated by radiotherapy: an innovative approach for the treatment of liver cancers

ASTRO, San Antonio, Texas · 2018, E. Chajon et al.


E. Chajon Rodriguez1, M. Pracht2, T. De Baere3, T. V. F. Nguyen4, J. P. Bronowicki5, V. Vendrely6, A. S. Baumann7, V. V. Croisé-Laurent7, E. Rio8, Y. Rolland9, S. Le Sourd9, P. Gustin3, C. Perret10, F. Mornex11, D. Peiffert12, P. Merle13, E. Deutsch14

1 – Centre Eugène Marquis – Département de Radiothérapie, Rennes, FR
2 – Centre Eugene Marquis, Rennes, FR
3 – Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, FR
4 – Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, FR
5 – INSERM 954, CHU de Nancy, Université de Lorraine, Nancy, FR
6 – University Hospital of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FR
7 – Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine, Nancy, FR
8 – Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest, Nantes, FR
9 – Centre Eugène Marquis, Rennes, FR
10 – Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest, Nantes, FR
11 – Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, Pierre Bénite, FR
12 – Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine, Vandoeuvre-Les-Nancy, FR
13 – Service d’Hepatogastroentérologie, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, Lyon, FR
14 – Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, FR


Radiation oncology technological development is principally focused in improving the precision of radiotherapy (RT) and reducing unwanted irradiation to normal tissues. There is an unmet medical need into ameliorating the energy dose deposit within tumor cells without increasing the dose received by surrounding healthy tissues. In response, hafnium oxide nanoparticles, NBTXR3, were developed. Only when activated by RT, NBTXR3 increases the probability of interaction with incoming radiations to augment the energy dose deposition within tumor cells leading to their death.

Their use is particularly relevant in the management of liver cancers, notably hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver metastasis (mets). This population is heterogenous and difficult to treat due to the presence of underlying liver dysfunction and concomitant malignancies.

NBTXR3 activated by stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is currently evaluated in this population in a phase I/II study [NCT02721056]. The multidisciplinary aspect of the study, emphasized by the plurality of liver affections, leads physicians from multiple backgrounds to combine their expertise in managing patient’s course.

NBTXR3 was well tolerated and comes with a promising safety profile. Recruitment of dose level 22% is ongoing. This study successfully demonstrated the feasibility of a complex multidisciplinary coordination for 2 different important indications in liver oncology.

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