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BNCT - Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

BNCT is a cell-selective therapy that combines a boron drug with a neutron beam.


Introduction to BNCT

BNCT aiming to treat refractory cancer

The treatment of cancers that are difficult to treat with conventional therapies, such as recurrent cancer, is a challenge in modern clinical oncology. For example, if a cancer recurs after radiotherapy, another radiotherapy treatment is difficult and treatment options are limited. BNCT has been studied since the 1950s with the aim of treating recurrent, invasive, and refractory cancers.

BNCT system using an accelerator

In the past, BNCT required a nuclear reactor as its neutron source, which made widespread use of BNCT impossible. Using the technology of medical accelerators, a BNCT system that can be installed in hospitals has been developed. The BNCT system is now covered by insurance starting in 2020, which is a major step towards the widespread use of BNCT.

Principle of BNCT

1. Boron agents for BNCT selectively accumulate in cancer cells.

2. At neutron irradiation, the boron in the tumor target captures neutrons and splits into alpha particles and 7Li nuclei in the cancer cells.

3. The alpha and lithium particles are highly ionizing and damage the DNA of the cancer cells locally.


•  Since cancer cells are selectively destroyed with BNCT, damage to normal cells can be reduced.

•  BNCT can be applied to areas that have already been irradiated before.

•  BNCT only requires one or two sessions of radiation, so treatment can be done in a short period of time.


A treatment plan is created with the BNCT treatment planning system.

The boron drug for BNCT is administered to the patient.

The patient is fixed and positioned with the BNCT system.

The patient is fixed and positioned with the BNCT system.

The BNCT system irradiates the patient with neutrons.

Hospitals where BNCT is currently available

Southern Tohoku BNCT Research Center

Fukushima, Japan

Osaka Medical College Kansai BNCT Joint Medical Center

Osaka, Japan

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