The use of positron emission tomography to develop boron neutron capture therapy treatment plans for metastatic malignant melanoma

J Neurooncol. Mar-Apr 2003;62(1-2):187-95. doi: 10.1007/BF02699944.


Centers in Japan and the United States are extending boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) to the treatment of malignant melanoma (MM). Positron emission tomography (PET) has been used to image glioblastoma multiforme with 18F-boronophenylalanine (18F-BPA) for the purpose of generating 10B distribution maps. These distribution maps can be used to improve the BNCT treatment planning. 18F-BPA was given to a patient with widely metastatic MM involving the thorax and brain. 18F-BPA PET scans of the chest and the head were obtained and compared to the computed tomograms (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images. The lung metastases seen on the chest CT images and intracranial metastases seen on CT and MR images were correlated with the PET images. The PET images clearly identified a brain lesion that was difficult to identify on MR and CT images. The 18F-BPA lung and peri-oral mucous gland activity was intense indicating a relatively high concentration of BPA. The intensity seen in the peri-oral mucous glands is consistent with the experiences in the BNCT clinical trials. These results have implications in the use of BNCT outside of the cranium. The PET images allow the generation of treatment plans that are consistent with the clinical findings. PET imaging with 18F-BPA can be used to identify potential tumors that may be amenable to BNCT and to improve treatment plans prior to BNCT.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Boron Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Boron Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Boron Neutron Capture Therapy / adverse effects
  • Boron Neutron Capture Therapy / methods*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Boron Compounds
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes