Advancements in Tumor Targeting Strategies for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

Micah John Luderer, Pilar De La Puente, Abdel Kareem Azab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Abstract Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a promising cancer therapy modality that utilizes the nuclear capture reaction of epithermal neutrons by boron-10 resulting in a localized nuclear fission reaction and subsequent cell death. Since cellular destruction is limited to approximately the diameter of a single cell, primarily only cells in the neutron field with significant boron accumulation will be damaged. However, the emergence of BNCT as a prominent therapy has in large part been hindered by a paucity of tumor selective boron containing agents. While L-boronophenylalanine and sodium borocaptate are the most commonly investigated clinical agents, new agents are desperately needed due to their suboptimal tumor selectivity. This review will highlight the various strategies to improve tumor boron delivery including: nucleoside and carbohydrate analogs, unnatural amino acids, porphyrins, antibody-dendrimer conjugates, cationic polymers, cell-membrane penetrating peptides, liposomes and nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1718
Pages (from-to)2824-2836
Number of pages13
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • BNCT
  • Boron neutron capture therapy
  • Cancer
  • Neutron radiation
  • Targeted delivery


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