Modified boron neutron capture therapy for malignant gliomas performed using epithermal neutron and two boron compounds with different accumulation mechanisms: an efficacy study based on findings on neuroimages

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Object. To improve the effectiveness of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for malignant gliomas, the authors used epithermal rather than thermal neutrons for deep penetration and two boron compounds—sodium borocaptate (BSH) and boronophenylalanine (BPA)—with different accumulation mechanisms to increase the boron level in tumors while compensating for each other's faults.

Methods. Thirteen patients, 10 of whom harbored a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), one a gliosarcoma, one an anaplastic astrocytoma, and one an anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, were treated using this modified BNCT between January 2002 and December 2003. Postoperatively, neuroimaging revealed that only one patient with a GBM had no lesion enhancement postoperatively. The patients underwent 18F-BPA positron emission tomography, if available, to assess the accumulation and distribution of BPA before neutron radiotherapy. The neutron fluence rate was estimated using the Simulation Environments for Radiotherapy Applications dose-planning system before irradiation. The patients' volume assessments were performed using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or computerized tomography (CT) scanning. Improvements in the disease as seen on neuroimages were assessed between 2 and 7 days after irradiation to determine the initial effects of BNCT; its maximal effects were also analyzed on serial neuroimages.

The mean tumor volume before BNCT was 42.3 cm3. Regardless of the pre-BNCT tumor volume, in every patient harboring an assessable lesion, improvements on MR or CT images were recognized both at the initial assessment (range of volume reduction rate 17.4–71%, mean rate 46.4%) and at follow-up assessments (range of volume reduction rates 30.3–87.6%, mean rate 58.5%). More than 50% of the contrast-enhanced lesions disappeared in eight of the 12 patients during the follow-up period.

Conclusions. This modified BNCT produced a good improvement in malignant gliomas, as seen on neuroimages.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Shin-Ichi Miyatake, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka Medical College, 2–7 Daigaku-machi, Takatsuki City, Osaka 569–8686, Japan. email: neu070@pohosaka-med.ac.jp.

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