Boron analysis and boron imaging in biological materials for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)

Andrea Wittig, Jean Michel, Raymond L. Moss, Finn Stecher-Rasmussen, Heinrich F. Arlinghaus, Peter Bendel, Pier Luigi Mauri, Saverio Altieri, Ralf Hilger, Piero A. Salvadori, Luca Menichetti, Robert Zamenhof, Wolfgang A.G. Sauerwein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is based on the ability of the stable isotope 10B to capture neutrons, which leads to a nuclear reaction producing an alpha- and a 7Li-particle, both having a high biological effectiveness and a very short range in tissue, being limited to approximately one cell diameter. This opens the possibility for a highly selective cancer therapy. BNCT strongly depends on the selective uptake of 10B in tumor cells and on its distribution inside the cells. The chemical properties of boron and the need to discriminate different isotopes make the investigation of the concentration and distribution of 10B a challenging task. The most advanced techniques to measure and image boron are described, both invasive and non-invasive. The most promising approach for further investigation will be the complementary use of the different techniques to obtain the information that is mandatory for the future of this innovative treatment modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-90
Number of pages25
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy
  • Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry
  • laser-SNMS
  • Neutron Capture Radiography
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Prompt Gamma-ray Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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