Affiliation: Dipartimento di Chimica Generale e Chimica Organica, Universita degli studi di Torino, Via Pietro Giuria, 7, 10125 Torino, Italy.
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is based on the capture of thermal neutrons by boron 10 (10B) nuclei that have been selectively delivered to tumor cells. The amount of 10-30 μg of boron for g of tumor mass is needed to attain an acceptable therapeutic advantage. Despite that the potentialities of BNCT have been demonstrated in several preclinical studies, this technique has not yet been fully accepted in the armory of tools for tumor treatment. This is partly due to the differences in the uptake and distribution of 10B among patients and also to the uncertainty found in the determination of tumor-to-blood 10B concentration ratio. Attention is now being payed to use the main imaging techniques to determine the in vivo biodistribution of BNCT agents. Most of the work has been devoted to the most promising BNCT agents, namely BPA, BSH and carborane derivatives. This review surveys studies carried out over the last decade, and outlines the role that NMR, PET and SPECT imaging may have to improve the efficacy of BNCT.