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Koivunoro H.,P.O.B. | Koivunoro H.,University of Helsinki | Koivunoro H.,Boneca Corporation | Seren T.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | And 9 more authors.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes | Year: 2011

In this paper, a phantom study was performed to evaluate the effect of an epithermal neutron beam irradiation on the cardiac pacemaker function. Severe malfunction occurred in the pacemakers after substantially lower dose from epithermal neutron irradiation than reported in the fast neutron or photon beams at the same dose rate level. In addition the pacemakers got activated, resulting in nuclides with half-lives from 25. min to 115. d. We suggest that BNCT should be administrated only after removal of the pacemaker from the vicinity of the tumor. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Kankaanranta L.,University of Helsinki | Seppala T.,University of Helsinki | Seppala T.,Boneca Corporation | Koivunoro H.,University of Helsinki | And 19 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2012

Purpose: To investigate the efficacy and safety of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) in the treatment of inoperable head-and-neck cancers that recur locally after conventional photon radiation therapy. Methods and Materials: In this prospective, single-center Phase I/II study, 30 patients with inoperable, locally recurred head-and-neck cancer (29 carcinomas and 1 sarcoma) were treated with BNCT. Prior treatments consisted of surgery and conventionally fractionated photon irradiation to a cumulative dose of 50 to 98 Gy administered with or without concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor responses were assessed by use of the RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) and adverse effects by use of the National Cancer Institute common terminology criteria version 3.0. Intravenously administered L-boronophenylalanine-fructose (400 mg/kg) was administered as the boron carrier. Each patient was scheduled to be treated twice with BNCT. Results: Twenty-six patients received BNCT twice; four were treated once. Of the 29 evaluable patients, 22 (76%) responded to BNCT, 6 (21%) had tumor growth stabilization for 5.1 and 20.3 months, and 1 (3%) progressed. The median progression-free survival time was 7.5 months (95% confidence interval, 5.4-9.6 months). Two-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 20% and 30%, respectively, and 27% of the patients survived for 2 years without locoregional recurrence. The most common acute Grade 3 adverse effects were mucositis (54% of patients), oral pain (54%), and fatigue (32%). Three patients were diagnosed with osteoradionecrosis (each Grade 3) and one patient with soft-tissue necrosis (Grade 4). Late Grade 3 xerostomia was present in 3 of the 15 evaluable patients (20%). Conclusions: Most patients who have inoperable, locally advanced head-and-neck carcinoma that has recurred at a previously irradiated site respond to boronophenylalanine-mediated BNCT, but cancer recurrence after BNCT remains frequent. Toxicity was acceptable. Further research on novel modifications of the method is warranted. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Koivunoro H.,Boneca Corporation | Koivunoro H.,University of Helsinki | Hyvonen H.,Boneca Corporation | Uusi-Simola J.,University of Helsinki | And 6 more authors.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes | Year: 2011

Magnesium-walled argon gas flow ionization chamber (Mg(Ar)) is used for photon dose measurements in the epithermal neutron beam of FiR 1 reactor in Finland. In this study, the photon dose measurements were re-evaluated against calculations applying a new chamber calibration factor defined in water instead of in air. Also, effect of the build-up cap on the measurements was investigated. The new calibration factor provides improved agreement between measured and calculated photon dose. Use of the build-up cap does not affect the measured signal in water in neutron beam. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Kankaanranta L.,University of Helsinki | Seppala T.,University of Helsinki | Seppala T.,Boneca Corporation | Koivunoro H.,University of Helsinki | And 14 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2011

Purpose: To investigate the safety of boronophenylalanine-mediated boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) in the treatment of malignant gliomas that progress after surgery and conventional external beam radiation therapy. Methods and Materials: Adult patients who had histologically confirmed malignant glioma that had progressed after surgery and external beam radiotherapy were eligible for this Phase I study, provided that >6 months had elapsed from the last date of radiation therapy. The first 10 patients received a fixed dose, 290 mg/kg, of l-boronophenylalanine-fructose (l-BPA-F) as a 2-hour infusion before neutron irradiation, and the remaining patients were treated with escalating doses of l-BPA-F, either 350 mg/kg, 400 mg/kg, or 450 mg/kg, using 3 patients on each dose level. Adverse effects were assessed using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria version 2.0. Results: Twenty-two patients entered the study. Twenty subjects had glioblastoma, and 2 patients had anaplastic astrocytoma, and the median cumulative dose of prior external beam radiotherapy was 59.4 Gy. The maximally tolerated l-BPA-F dose was reached at the 450 mg/kg level, where 4 of 6 patients treated had a grade 3 adverse event. Patients who were given >290 mg/kg of l-BPA-F received a higher estimated average planning target volume dose than those who received 290 mg/kg (median, 36 vs. 31 Gy [W, i.e., a weighted dose]; p = 0.018). The median survival time following BNCT was 7 months. Conclusions: BNCT administered with an l-BPA-F dose of up to 400 mg/kg as a 2-hour infusion is feasible in the treatment of malignant gliomas that recur after conventional radiation therapy. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Savolainen S.,University of Helsinki | Kortesniemi M.,University of Helsinki | Timonen M.,University of Helsinki | Reijonen V.,University of Helsinki | And 16 more authors.
Physica Medica | Year: 2013

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is a binary radiotherapy method developed to treat patients with certain malignant tumours. To date, over 300 treatments have been carried out at the Finnish BNCT facility in various on-going and past clinical trials. In this technical review, we discuss our research work in the field of medical physics to form the groundwork for the Finnish BNCT patient treatments, as well as the possibilities to further develop and optimize the method in the future. Accordingly, the following aspects are described: neutron sources, beam dosimetry, treatment planning, boron imaging and determination, and finally the possibilities to detect the efficacy and effects of BNCT on patients. © 2012 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica.

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