Nuclear microprobe analysis of the selective boron uptake obtained with BPA in brain tumour tissue

Marie Wegdén, Per Kristiansson, Crister Ceberg, Per Munck af Rosenschöld, Vaida Auzelyte, Mikael Elfman, Klas Malmqvist, Christer Nilsson, Jan Pallon, Asad Shariff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tumour selective ability of the boron compound boronophenylalanine (BPA), today used in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy in Sweden, has been investigated with the Lund Nuclear Microprobe. The tumour to tissue ratio of the boron concentration, as well as the location of boron within the cells, is critical for the efficiency of the therapy. It is desirable that the boron is accumulated as close as possible to the cell nucleus, since the alpha particles produced in the B-10(n,alpha)Li-7 reaction only have a range of about 10 microns, i.e. a cell diameter. The nuclear reaction B-11(p,alpha)2alpha, which has an especially high cross-section (300 mb) for 660 keV protons, has been used to analyse brain tissue from BPA-injected rats. Previous studies on other boron compounds have shown significant background problems when the alpha particles are detected in the backward direction. By a specially designed set-up, alpha particles in the forward and backward direction are detected simultaneously, and only the coincidences between the two directions are considered to be true boron events. In this way we could achieve excellent background suppression. The analysis shows that BPA indeed is tumour selective. Quantifications show a boron abundance of 150 +/- 20 ng/cm(2) in normal tissue and 567 70 ng/cm(2) in tumour tissue. If the rat is fed with L-dopa before the injection of BPA the uptake increases 3-4 times. The boron is homogeneously distributed in the cellular structure and no specific intracellular accumulation has been shown. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-71
JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Radiation Physics, Lund (013034000), Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • coincidence
  • BPA
  • boron
  • BNCT
  • tumour tissue
  • NRA


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