New thermal neutron capture therapy for malignant melanoma: melanogenesis-seeking 10B molecule-melanoma cell interaction from in vitro to first clinical trial

Pigment Cell Res. Jul-Aug 1989;2(4):226-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0749.1989.tb00196.x.


Human melanoma regression by single thermal neutron capture therapy (NCT) using melanoma-seeking 10B compounds has been achieved. Since 1972, the aim of my team has been to synthesize tumor-seeking 10B-compounds possessing selective affinity for specific metabolic activity of the target cancer cells. Once the melanoma takes up these 10B compounds, thermal neutrons, which cause insignificant cell damage, are easily absorbed by nonradioactive 10B, inducing the 10B(n, alpha)7Li reaction and releasing the high LET particles to 14 mu melanoma cell diameter, destroying the tumor without damaging surrounding tissue. Radiobiological and preclinical studies culminated in the first successful human NCT treatment, with no recurrence of the treated melanoma since July, 1987.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Boron / metabolism*
  • Boron Compounds / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Humans
  • Isotopes
  • Lithium / metabolism
  • Melanins / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Neutrons / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Swine


  • Boron Compounds
  • Isotopes
  • Melanins
  • Lithium
  • Boron