Radiation Oncology/Neutrons

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Neutron Therapy

By Disease Site[edit]


  • Initial use of neutrons for clinical treatment occurred 1936-1943, but resulted in significant late effects
  • By 1960's, radiobiology of neutrons was better understood, and a cyclotron was constructed at the Hammersmith Hospital in London. In USA, physics-lab based devices were used for initial pilot trials.
  • In 1984, University of Washington commissioned a high-energy neutron generator for clinical beam delivery, with NCI funding
  • Neutrons can be delivered via several modalities
    • External beam neutron therapy
    • Boron-neutron capture therapy (BNCT)
    • Neutron brachytherapy via Californium-252
    • Proton Boron Capture Therapy (PBCT)
  • Most clinical trials were inconclusive, and enthusiasm about neutrons as a treatment modality waned

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)[edit]

  • FBPA (4-borono-2-(18) F-fluoro-phenylalanin) PET imaging
    • Kohei Hanaoka et al. EJNMMI Res. 2014. FBPA PET in boron neutron capture therapy for cancer: prediction of (10)B concentration in the tumor and normal tissue in a rat xenograft model (PMID: 25621196)
    • L Menichetti et al. Appl Radiat Isot. 2009 Jul. Positron emission tomography and [18F]BPA: a perspective application to assess tumour extraction of boron in BNCT (PMID: 19410471)
  • Accelerator-Based BNCT (AB-BNCT) vs. Reactor-Based BNCT (RB-BNCT)
    • Minoru Suzuki et al. Radiother Oncol. 2009 Jul. Impact of accelerator-based boron neutron capture therapy (AB-BNCT) on the treatment of multiple liver tumors and malignant pleural mesothelioma (PMID: 19329206)
  • Tsing Hua open-pool reactor (THOR)
    • C J Tung et al. Appl Radiat Isot. 2004 Nov. Characteristics of the new THOR epithermal neutron beam for BNCT (PMID: 15308158)
    • Ling-Wei Wang et al. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2018. Clinical trials for treating recurrent head and neck cancer with boron neutron capture therapy using the Tsing-Hua Open Pool Reactor (PMID: 29914577)
  • Proton Accelerator based Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (A-BNCT) facility in Korea
    • Eunjoong Lee et al. Appl Radiat Isot. 2018 Dec. Radiation safety analysis for the A-BNCT facility in Korea (PMID: 30273764)
  • Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) in Finland
    • Sauli Savolainen et al. Phys Med. 2013 May. Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) in Finland: technological and physical prospects after 20 years of experiences (PMID: 22613369)

Proton Boron Capture Therapy (PBCT)[edit]

  • G A P Cirrone et al. Sci Rep. 2018. First experimental proof of Proton Boron Capture Therapy (PBCT) to enhance protontherapy effectiveness (PMID: 29348437)
  • Joo-Young Jung et al. Oncotarget. 2017. Comparison between proton boron fusion therapy (PBFT) and boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT): a monte carlo study (PMID: 28427153)
  • Farshid Tabbakh et al. Sci Rep. 2020. Enhancement of Radiation Effectiveness in Proton Therapy: Comparison Between Fusion and Fission Methods and Further Approaches (PMID: 32214140)