Background: Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a cell-selective radiation therapy that uses the alpha particles and lithium nuclei produced by the boron neutron capture reaction. BNCT is a relatively safe tool for treating multiple or diffuse malignant tumors with little injury to normal tissue. The success or failure of BNCT depends upon the 10B compound accumulation within tumor cells and the proximity of the tumor cells to the body surface. To extend the therapeutic use of BNCT from surface tumors to visceral tumors will require 10B compounds that accumulate strongly in tumor cells without significant accumulation in normal cells, and an appropriate delivery method for deeper tissues.Hemagglutinating Virus of Japan Envelope (HVJ-E) is used as a vehicle for gene delivery because of its high ability to fuse with cells. However, its strong hemagglutination activity makes HVJ-E unsuitable for systemic administration.In this study, we developed a novel vector for 10B (sodium borocaptate: BSH) delivery using HVJ-E and cationized gelatin for treating multiple liver tumors with BNCT without severe adverse events.Methods: We developed cationized gelatin conjugate HVJ-E combined with BSH (CG-HVJ-E-BSH), and evaluated its characteristics (toxicity, affinity for tumor cells, accumulation and retention in tumor cells, boron-carrying capacity to multiple liver tumors in vivo, and bio-distribution) and effectiveness in BNCT therapy in a murine model of multiple liver tumors.Results: CG-HVJ-E reduced hemagglutination activity by half and was significantly less toxic in mice than HVJ-E. Higher 10B concentrations in murine osteosarcoma cells (LM8G5) were achieved with CG-HVJ-E-BSH than with BSH. When administered into mice bearing multiple LM8G5 liver tumors, the tumor/normal liver ratios of CG-HVJ-E-BSH were significantly higher than those of BSH for the first 48 hours (p < 0.05). In suppressing the spread of tumor cells in mice, BNCT treatment was as effective with CG-HVJ-E-BSH as with BSH containing a 35-fold higher 10B dose. Furthermore, CG-HVJ-E-BSH significantly increased the survival time of tumor-bearing mice compared to BSH at a comparable dosage of 10B.Conclusion: CG-HVJ-E-BSH is a promising strategy for the BNCT treatment of visceral tumors without severe adverse events to surrounding normal tissues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging