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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 520-525

Boron neutron capture therapy: Moving toward targeted cancer therapy


1 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Biotechnology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3 Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Science, Isfahan, Iran
4 Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
5 Department of Clinical Biochemistery, Biochemistry and Nutrition Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
6 Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
7 Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Hamed Mirzaei
Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad 91775-1365
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.176167

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Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) occurs when a stable isotope, boton-10, is irradiated with low-energy thermal neutrons to yield stripped down helium-4 nuclei and lithium-7 nuclei. It is a binary therapy in the treatment of cancer in which a cytotoxic event is triggered when an atom placed in a cancer cell. Here, we provide an overview on the application of BNCT in cancer therapy as well as current preclinical and clinical evidence on the efficacy of BNCT in the treatment of melanoma, brain tumors, head and neck cancer, and thyroid cancer. Several studies have shown that BNCT is effective in patients who had been treated with a full dose of conventional radiotherapy, because of its selectivity. In addition, BNCT is dependent on the normal/tumor tissue ratio of boron distribution. Increasing evidence has shown that BNCT can be combined with different drug delivery systems to enhance the delivery of boron to cancer cells. The flexibility of BNCT to be used in combination with different tumor-targeting approaches has made this strategy a promising option for cancer therapy. This review aims to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the recent advances in the use of BNCT for targeted therapy of cancer.


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