Shalom Life | July 18, 2014

Radiation Therapy Is About to get Much Kinder

MercyBeam, a unique X-ray condensing system from Israel, is on the path to market as leading hospitals are eager to use it for cancer patients of all ages

By: Abigail Klein Leichman

Published: July 17th, 2014 in Health » Israel

An Israeli industrial engineer who spent months in the hospital following a paragliding accident saw the limitations of X-ray technology and vowed to make it better.

After developing a real-time X-ray detector and an X-ray explosive identification system, he and his team of physicists invented MercyBeam, a patented lens to improve radiation therapy for patients of all ages.

Cofounder and CEO Ze’ev Harel tells ISRAEL21c that his four-year-old company, Convergent RNR, is collaborating with medical physicists and oncologists at top hospitals including Sheba Medical Center in Israel and MD Anderson in Texas, and is in preliminary discussions with others including Massachusetts General, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Auckland Hospital in New Zealand.

“They all like our approach,” he says. “When we presented our technology to Hadassah and Sheba medical centers and asked for their feedback, the bottom line of those meetings was, ‘When can you install first system at our hospital?’ It was very encouraging; there was not even one criticism.”

Less expense, better results

Current radiation therapy treatments are quite problematic. They use very high-energy radiation and hit not only the tumor but also the healthy surrounding tissue. They require large and expensive machinery in specially shielded treatment rooms, so they are not an option for clinics and hospitals that cannot afford these measures. In addition, current radiation therapy isn’t appropriate for children under three.

MercyBeam solves all these problems, says Harel.

The lens collects most of the three-dimensional X-rays coming out of any standard X-ray generator and converges them toward the tumor. This increases the therapeutic dose where it’s needed, while surrounding tissue gets little or no exposure. The converging technology enables the use of photon-energy X-rays 100 times lower than those used by current systems based on linear accelerators (LINACs).

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Via ISRAEL21c

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