Exploring the Biological and Physical Basis of Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) as a Promising Treatment Frontier in Breast Cancer

Danushka Seneviratne, Pooja Advani, Daniel M. Trifiletti, Saranya Chumsri, Chris J. Beltran, Aaron F. Bush, Laura A. Vallow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BNCT is a high LET radiation therapy modality that allows for biologically targeted radiation delivery to tumors while reducing normal tissue impacts. Although the clinical use of BNCT has largely been limited to phase I/II trials and has primarily focused on difficult-to-treat malignancies such as recurrent head and neck cancer and recurrent gliomas, recently there has been a renewed interest in expanding the use of BNCT to other disease sites, including breast cancer. Given its high LET characteristics, its biologically targeted and tumor specific nature, as well as its potential for use in complex treatment settings including reirradiation and widespread metastatic disease, BNCT offers several unique advantages over traditional external beam radiation therapy. The two main boron compounds investigated to date in BNCT clinical trials are BSH and BPA. Of these, BPA in particular shows promise in breast cancer given that is taken up by the LAT-1 amino acid transporter that is highly overexpressed in breast cancer cells. As the efficacy of BNCT is directly dependent on the extent of boron accumulation in tumors, extensive preclinical efforts to develop novel boron delivery agents have been undertaken in recent years. Preclinical studies have shown promise in antibody linked boron compounds targeting ER/HER2 receptors, boron encapsulating liposomes, and nanoparticle-based boron delivery systems. This review aims to summarize the physical and biological basis of BNCT, the preclinical and limited clinical data available to date, and discuss its potential to be utilized for the successful treatment of various breast cancer disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3009
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • BNCT
  • BPA
  • LAT-1
  • boron neutron capture therapy
  • breast cancer
  • high-LET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the Biological and Physical Basis of Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) as a Promising Treatment Frontier in Breast Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this