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Br J Radiol. 2012 Apr;85(1012):443-50. doi: 10.1259/bjr/87260973. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Enhancement of the radiation response of EMT-6 tumours by a copper octabromotetracarboranylphenylporphyrin.

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  • 1Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.



The carborane-containing porphyrin, copper (II) 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octabromo-5,10,15,20-tetrakis(3-[1,2-dicarba-closo-dodecaboranyl]methoxyphenyl)-porphyrin (CuTCPBr), was investigated as a potential radiation enhancing agent for X-ray radiotherapy (XRT) in a subcutaneously implanted EMT-6 murine carcinoma.


The biodistribution and toxicological profile of this porphyrin has been shown to be favourable for another bimodal radiotherapy technique, boron neutron-capture therapy. For the XRT studies, CuTCPBr was formulated in either 9% Cremophor (BASF Corporation, Ludwigschafen, Germany) EL and 18% propylene glycol (9% CRM) or a revised formulation comprising 1% Cremophor ELP, 2% Tween 80 (JT Baker, Mansfield, MA), 5% ethanol and 2.2% PEG 400 (CTEP formulation), which would be more clinically acceptable than the original 9% CRM formulation. Using the 9% CRM formulation of CuTCPBr, doses of 100, 210 or 400 mg kg(-1) of body weight were used in combination with single doses of 25-35 Gy 100 kVp X-rays.


While doses of 100 mg kg(-1) and 210 mg kg(-1) did not result in any significant enhancement of tumour response, the 400 mg kg(-1) dose did. A dose modification factor of 1.20±0.10 was obtained based on the comparison of doses that produced a 50% local tumour control probability. With the CTEP formulation of CuTCPBr, doses of 83 and 170 mg kg(-1) produced significant radiation enhancement, with dose modification factors based on the TCP(50) of 1.29±0.15 and 1.84±0.24, respectively.


CuTCPBr significantly enhanced the efficacy of XRT in the treatment of EMT-6 carcinomas in mice. The CTEP formulation showed a marked improvement, with over 9% CRM being associated with higher dose modification factors. Moreover, the radiation response in the skin was not enhanced.

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