International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 437–444 | Cite as

Boron neutron capture therapy for advanced salivary gland carcinoma in head and neck

  • Teruhito Aihara
  • Norimasa Morita
  • Nobuhiko Kamitani
  • Hiroaki Kumada
  • Koji Ono
  • Junichi Hiratsuka
  • Tamotu Harada
Original Article



Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is among the radiation treatments known to have a selective lethal effect on tumor cells. This study summarizes the tumor responses and the acute and late adverse effects of BNCT in the treatment of patients with both recurrent and newly diagnosed T4 salivary gland carcinoma.


Two patients with recurrent cancer and 3 with newly diagnosed T4 advanced malignancy were registered between October 2003 and September 2007, with the approval of the medical ethics committees of Kawasaki Medical School and Kyoto University. BNCT was performed, in a single fraction using an epithermal beam, at Japan Research Reactor 4.


All patients achieved a complete response within 6 months of treatment. The median duration of the complete response was 24.0 months; the median overall survival time was 32.0 months. Three of the 5 patients are still alive; the other 2 died of distant metastatic disease. Open biopsy of the parotid gland after BNCT was performed in 1 patient and revealed no residual viable cancer cells and no serious damage to the normal glandular system. Although mild alopecia, xerostomia, and fatigue occurred in all patients, there were no severe adverse effects of grade 3 or greater.


Our preliminary results demonstrate that BNCT is a potential curative therapy for patients with salivary gland carcinoma. The treatment does not cause any serious adverse effects, and may be used regardless of whether the primary tumor has been previously treated.


BNCT Paraboronophenylalanine 18F-BPA PET Salivary gland carcinoma Radio-resistant cancers 



This work was supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) Number 24592611.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Teruhito Aihara have no personal or financial interests to declare and receive no financial support from an industry source related to the current manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teruhito Aihara
    • 1
    • 3
  • Norimasa Morita
    • 1
  • Nobuhiko Kamitani
    • 2
  • Hiroaki Kumada
    • 3
  • Koji Ono
    • 4
  • Junichi Hiratsuka
    • 2
  • Tamotu Harada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan
  3. 3.Proton Medical Research CentreUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Radiation Oncology Research Laboratory, Research Reactor InstituteKyoto UniversityOsakaJapan

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