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Neurosurgery. 1999 Jun;44(6):1182-92; discussion 1192-3.

Boron neutron capture therapy for glioblastoma multiforme: interim results from the phase I/II dose-escalation studies

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Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973-5000, USA.



The primary objective of these Phase I/II dose-escalation studies is to evaluate the safety of boronophenylalanine (BPA)-fructose-mediated boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). A secondary purpose is to assess the palliation of GBM by BNCT, if possible.


Thirty-eight patients with GBM have been treated. Subtotal or gross total resection of GBM was performed for 38 patients (median age, 56 yr) before BNCT. BPA-fructose (250 or 290 mg BPA/kg body weight) was infused intravenously, in 2 hours, approximately 3 to 5 weeks after surgery. Neutron irradiation was begun between 34 and 82 minutes after the end of the BPA infusion and lasted 38 to 65 minutes.


Toxicity related to BPA-fructose was not observed. The maximal radiation dose to normal brain varied from 8.9 to 14.8 Gy-Eq. The volume-weighted average radiation dose to normal brain tissues ranged from 1.9 to 6.0 Gy-Eq. No BNCT-related Grade 3 or 4 toxicity was observed, although milder toxicities were seen. Twenty-five of 37 assessable patients are dead, all as a result of progressive GBM. No radiation-induced damage to normal brain tissue was observed in postmortem examinations of seven brains. The minimal tumor volume doses ranged from 18 to 55 Gy-Eq. The median time to tumor progression and the median survival time from diagnosis (from Kaplan-Meier curves) were 31.6 weeks and 13.0 months, respectively.


The BNCT procedure used has been safe for all patients treated to date. Our limited clinical evaluation suggests that the palliation offered by a single session of BNCT is comparable to that provided by fractionated photon therapy. Additional studies with further escalation of radiation doses are in progress.

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