Boron neutron capture therapy of malignant melanoma using 10B-paraboronophenylalanine with special reference to evaluation of radiation dose and damage to the normal skin

Radiat Res. 1994 Jun;138(3):435-42.


A treatment regimen for boron neutron capture therapy of malignant melanomas is described using 10B-paraboronophenylalanine as the tumor-targeting compound. As a therapeutic dose, we adopted the maximum tolerable dose for the skin regardless of tumor 10B concentration. In practice, the maximum neutron fluence should be decided prior to starting irradiation. For this purpose, the kinetics of the concentration of 10B in the blood and skin and the skin-to-blood ratios were analyzed in the six patients who received 170 mg/kg of the compound intravenously, and skin concentrations during irradiation were predicted using a standard skin factor curve. This yields a skin concentration at time T based on the blood concentration at time 0. We calculated the maximum tolerable fluence yielding but not exceeding 18 RBE-Gy by assuming that the RBE of 14N(n,p)14C and 10B(n, alpha)7Li reaction for skin damage is 2.5. Actual skin reactions in three of five patients treated with the therapy were, as predicted, within tolerable limits, and we were able to obtain complete tumor regression in four cases. The results indicate that application of our logical approach will be useful for subsequent cases and further development of this therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Boron Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Boron Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenylalanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylalanine / pharmacokinetics
  • Phenylalanine / therapeutic use
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Boron Compounds
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • Phenylalanine
  • 4-boronophenylalanine