Positron emission tomography and [18F]BPA: A perspective application to assess tumour extraction of boron in BNCT

L. Menichetti, L. Cionini, W. A. Sauerwein, S. Altieri, O. Solin, H. Minn, P. A. Salvadori

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Positron emission tomography (PET) has become a key imaging tool in clinical practice and biomedical research to quantify and study biochemical processes in vivo. Physiologically active compounds are tagged with positron emitters (e.g. 18F, 11C, 124I) while maintaining their biological properties, and are administered intravenously in tracer amounts (10-9-10-12 M quantities). The recent physical integration of PET and computed tomography (CT) in hybrid PET/CT scanners allows a combined anatomical and functional imaging: nowadays PET molecular imaging is emerging as powerful pharmacological tool in oncology, neurology and for treatment planning as guidance for radiation therapy. The in vivo pharmacokinetics of boron carrier for BNCT and the quantification of 10B in living tissue were performed by PET in the late nineties using compartmental models based on PET data. Nowadays PET and PET/CT have been used to address the issue of pharmacokinetic, metabolism and accumulation of BPA in target tissue. The added value of the use of l-[18F]FBPA and PET/CT in BNCT is to provide key data on the tumour extraction of 10B-BPA versus normal tissue and to predict the efficacy of the treatment based on a single-study patient analysis. Due to the complexity of a binary treatment like BNCT, the role of PET/CT is currently to design new criteria for patient enrolment in treatment protocols: the l-[18F]BPA/PET methodology could be considered as an important tool in newly designed clinical trials to better estimate the concentration ratio of BPA in the tumour as compared to neighbouring normal tissues. Based on these values for individual patients the decision could be made whether BNCT treatment could be advantageous due to a selective accumulation of BPA in an individual tumour. This approach, applicable in different tumour entities like melanoma, glioblastoma and head and neck malignancies, make this methodology as reliable prognostic and therapeutic indicator for patient undergoing BNCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S351-S354
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number7-8 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • [F]FBPA
  • BNCT
  • BPA
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head and neck malignancies
  • PET
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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