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Jun 8 – 11, 2021 Online only
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Treating cancer with neutrons – Options for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

Jun 9, 2021, 10:10 AM
Talk Drug design and delivery Drug design and delivery


Wolfgang Sauerwein (University Duisburg-Essen, University Hospital Essen,)


Despite all advances in cancer treatment, there are still clinical situations in which a locoregional tumor is fatal. More efficient local therapies are mandatory. Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) has the potential of such a modality to overcome radiation resistance in certain tumors or to re-irradiate local recurrences after high-dose radiotherapy.
BNCT is based on the 10B(n,α)7Li reaction producing 2 particles with high biological effectiveness in killing cells and short range in tissue (approx. the diameter of one cell). If such reactions can be selectively triggered in tumor cells, a “cell-surgery” results: single tumor cells invading normal tissues are destroyed without damaging surrounding healthy structures.
BNCT was proposed as early as 1936, but so far, no large-scale clinical trials were possible to prove the usefulness of the method for cancer therapy. This was mainly because BNCT required research reactors, mostly located far from a hospital and not always available for patient care.
Recently this situation is changing with the advent of accelerator-based neutron sources. First projects have started at hospitals in Japan and similar projects are underway in other countries.
In this presentation, BNCT development from an academic research project to a market-ready therapy is presented. The current BNCT projects worldwide and the efforts in Europe and Germany to develop and establish this modality will be shown.

Primary author

Wolfgang Sauerwein (University Duisburg-Essen, University Hospital Essen,)


Prof. Evamarie Hey-Hawkins (Universität Leipzig, Fakultät für Chemie und Mineralogie, Institut für Anorganische Chemie) Prof. Andrea Wittig-Sauerwein (Klinik für Strahlentherapie und Radioonkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena) Go Theisen (Essener Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH) Dr Birgit Wortmann (TEC Sprecialist) Thomas Gutberlet (Forschungszentrum Jülich)

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