Boron uptake measurements in a rat model for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy of lung tumours

S. Bortolussi, J. G. Bakeine, F. Ballarini, P. Bruschi, M. A. Gadan, N. Protti, S. Stella, A. Clerici, C. Ferrari, L. Cansolino, C. Zonta, A. Zonta, R. Nano, S. Altieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Lung carcinoma is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the Western countries. Despite the introduction over the last few years of new therapeutic agents, survival from lung cancer has shown no discernible improvement in the last 20 years. For these reasons any efforts to find and validate new effective therapeutic procedures for lung cancer are very timely. The selective boron uptake in the tumour with respect to healthy tissues makes Boron Neutron Capture Therapy a potentially advantageous option in the treatment of tumours that affect whole vital organs, and that are surgically inoperable. To study the possibility of applying BNCT to the treatment of diffuse pulmonary tumours, an animal model for boron uptake measurements in lung metastases was developed. Both healthy and tumour-bearing rats were infused with Boronophenylalanine (BPA) and sacrificed at different time intervals after drug administration. The lungs were extracted, and prepared for boron analysis by neutron autoradiography and α-spectroscopy. The boron concentrations in tumour and normal lung were plotted as a function of the time elapsed after BPA administration. The concentration in tumour is almost constant within the error bars for all the time intervals of the experiment (1-8. h), while the curve in normal lung decreases after 4. h from BPA infusion. At 4. h, the ratio of boron concentration in tumour to boron concentration in healthy lung is higher than 3, and it stays above this level up to 8. h. Also the images of boron distribution in the samples, obtained by neutron autoradiography, show a selective absorption in the metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • BNCT
  • BPA
  • Boron bio-distribution
  • Boron uptake
  • Lung tumours
  • Neutron autoradiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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