Colorado State teams with Japan to research cancer therapy

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Mar 23, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Fort Collins, Colo. -- Colorado State University’s (CSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will team with Japan’s Gifu University School of Medicine and its National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) to research a promising new treatment for cancer: carbon ion therapy.

The therapy is not currently available in the United States and is not being studied anywhere else in the nation, according to Dr. Jac Nickoloff, head of the school’s Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Services.

CSU’s Center for Environmental Medicine, launched in 2008 in partnership with Japan, will host the research initiative. The partnership solidifies the first joint faculty appointment between a U.S. university and a Japanese research institute, according to Dr. Bill Hanneman, director of the Center for Environmental Medicine. CSU alum and Japan native Dr. Takamitsu Kato will begin working with CSU in April and will travel to NIRS twice a year to pursue research projects involving a heavy ion medical accelerator (HIMAC), one of just three in the world.

In Japan, 5,000 patients have already been treated with experimental HIMAC therapy. CSU, NIRS, and Gifu University will partner on research into heavy ion radiotherapy and will eventually embark on clinical trials to treat naturally occurring tumors in larger animals like cats and dogs, as well as in humans.