Effect of diameter of nanoparticles and capture cross-section library on macroscopic dose enhancement in boron neutron capture therapy
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) represents a promising modality for a relatively selective radiation dose delivery to the tumour tissue. Boron-10 nuclei capture slow 'thermal' neutrons preferentially and, upon capture, promptly undergo 10B(n,alpha)7Li reaction. The ionization tracks of energetic and heavy lithium and helium ions resulting from this reaction are only about one cell diameter in length (approximately 14 microm). Because of their high linear energy transfer (LET) these ions have a high relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for controlling tumour growth. The key to effective BNCT of tumours, such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the preferential accumulation of boron-10 in the tumour, including the infiltrating GBM cells, as compared with that in the vital structures of the normal brain. Provided that a sufficiently high tumour boron-10 concentration (approximately 10(9) boron-10 atoms/cell) and an adequate thermal neutron fluence (approximately 10(12) neutrons/cm2) are achieved, it is the ratio of the boron-10 concentration in tumour cells to that in the normal brain cells that will largely determine the therapeutic gain of BNCT.