Novel Boron Carriers for Treatment of Cancer

Novel Boron Carriers for Treatment of Cancer

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is a sofisticated form of radiation therapy. In BNCT treatment, a patient is given a non toxic, non radioactive boron carrier which contains boron-10 isotope. After the boron carrier has accumulated to a tumor, patient is subject to a non invasive neutron beam targetted to the tumor. Boron-10 atoms capture neutrons and broke up and ejects destructive radiation that destroys selectively the surrounding tumor tissue and saves the healthy tissues around the tumor.

At the moment, there are two clinically used boron carriers: Boronophenylalanine (BPA) and Sodium borocaptate (BSH). Even they are clinically used, dDisadvantages of there compounds are still high. Amino acid derived BPA in mainly ised for treatment of brain tumors, because it is capable to penetrate bood-brain-barrier (BBB). However, it is needes around 35 gram intravenously for a 70 kg patient. To encounter these disadvantages, we are developing novel strategies for boron delivery. At the moment, we have two main approaches:

LAT1 targetted BNCT

LAT1 is an amino acid transporter expressed mainly in biological barriers e.g. blood-brain barrier (BBB). It is also up-regulated in several human cancers and is thus a good target for drug delivery in cancer research. In our LAT1-BNCT project we are dveloping LAT1 targetted boron containing amino acids. The project has been fynded by Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2018.

Nanoparticle assisted BNCT

Nanoparticles prepared from porous silica can be loaded with different medical agents. In the project our goal is to prepare nanoparticles loaded with boron and target these nanoparticles to tumor. The approach has a high potential, since load of a single nanoparticle can be pico moles of boron. Project is colalboration with Pharmaceutical physics research group.