Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for glioblastoma multiforme: A phase II study evaluating a prolonged high-dose of boronophenylalanine (BPA)

Roger Henriksson, Jacek Capala, Annika Michanek, Sten-Ake Lindahl, Leif Salford, Lars Franzen, Erik Blomquist, Jan-Erik Westlin, A. Tommy Bergenheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) using a novel protocol for the boronophenylalanine-fructose (BPA-F) infusion. Patient and methods: This phase II study included 30 patients, 26-69 years old, with a good performance status of which 27 have undergone debulking surgery. BPA-F (900 mg BPA/kg body weight) was given i.v. over 6 h. Neutron irradiation started 2 h after the completion of the infusion. Follow-up reports were monitored by an independent clinical research institute. Results: The boron-blood concentration during irradiation was 15.2-33.7 mu g/g. The average weighted absorbed dose to normal brain was 3.2-6.1 Gy (W). The minimum dose to the tumour volume ranged from 15.4 to 54.3 Gy (W). Seven patients suffered from seizures, 8 from skin/mucous problem, 5 patients were stricken by thromboembolism and 4 from abdominal disturbances in close relation to BNCT. Four patients displayed 9 episodes of grade 3-4 events (WHO). At the time for follow-up, minimum ten months, 23 out of the 29 evaluable patients were dead. The median time from BNCT treatment to tumour progression was 5.8 months and the median survival time after BNCT was 14.2 months. Following progression, 13 patients were given temozolomide, two patients were re-irradiated, and two were re-operated. Patients treated with temozolomide lived considerably longer (17.7 vs. 11.6 months). The quality of life analysis demonstrated a progressive deterioration after BNCT. Conclusion: Although, the efficacy of BNCT in the present protocol seems to be comparable with conventional radiotherapy and the treatment time is shorter, the observed side effects and the requirement of complex infrastructure and higher resources emphasize the need of further phase I and II studies, especially directed to improve the accumulation of B-10 in tumour cells. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology
  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • quality of life
  • glioblastoma
  • BNCT
  • toxicity
  • survival


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