Purpose: Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) has the potential to become a viable cancer treatment modality, but its clinical translation has been limited by the poor tumor selectivity of agents. To address this unmet need, a boronated 2-nitroimidazole derivative (B-381) was synthesized and evaluated for its capability of targeting hypoxic glioma cells. Methods: B-381 has been synthesized from a 1-step reaction. Using D54 and U87 glioma cell lines, the in vitro cytotoxicity and cellular accumulation of B-381 has been evaluated under normoxic and hypoxic conditions compared to L-boronophenylalanine (BPA). Furthermore, tumor retention of B-381 was evaluated in vivo. Results: B-381 had low cytotoxicity in normal and cancer cells. Unlike BPA, B-381 illustrated preferential retention in hypoxic glioma cells compared to normoxic glioma cells and normal tissues in vitro. In vivo, B-381 illustrated significantly higher long-term tumor retention compared to BPA, with 9.5-fold and 6.5-fold higher boron levels at 24 and 48 h, respectively. Conclusions: B-381 represents a new class of BNCT agents in which their selectivity to tumors is based on hypoxic tumor metabolism. Further studies are warranted to evaluate B-381 and similar compounds as preclinical candidates for future BNCT clinical trials for the treatment of glioma.
- boron neutron capture therapy
- tumor targeting