Compassionate Treatment of Brainstem Tumors with Boron Neutron Capture Therapy: A Case Series

Compassionate Treatment of Brainstem Tumors with Boron Neutron Capture Therapy: A Case Series

2023.02.091113

Abstract: Brainstem tumors are heterogenous and cancerous glioma tumors arising from the midbrain, pons, and the medulla that are relatively common in children, accounting for 10% to 20% of all pediatric brain tumors. However, the prognosis of aggressive brainstem gliomas remains extremely poor despite aggressive treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. That means there are many life-threatening patients who have exhausted all available treatment options and are beginning to face end-of-life stage. Therefore, the unique properties of highly selective heavy particle irradiation with boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) may be well suited to prolong the lives of patients with endstage brainstem gliomas. Herein, we report a case series of life-threatening patients with end-stage brainstem glioma who eligible for Emergency and Compassionate Use, in whom we performed a scheduled two fractions of salvage BNCT strategy with low treatment dosage each time. No patients experienced acute or late adverse events related to BNCT. There were 3 patients who relapsed after two fractionated BNCT treatment, characterized by younger age, lower T/N ratio, and receiving lower treatment dose. Therefore, two fractionated low-dose BNCT may be a promising treatment for end-stage brainstem tumors. For younger patients with low T/N ratios, more fractionated low-dose BNCT should be considered.