Radiation Oncology/Neutrons

Neutron Therapy

By Disease SiteEdit


  • Initial use of neutrons for clinical treatment occurred 1936-1943, but resulted in significant late effects
  • By 1960's, radiobiology of neutrons was better understood, and a cyclotron was constructed at the Hammersmith Hospital in London. In USA, physics-lab based devices were used for initial pilot trials.
  • In 1984, University of Washington commissioned a high-energy neutron generator for clinical beam delivery, with NCI funding
  • Neutrons can be delivered via several modalities
    • External beam neutron therapy
    • Boron-neutron capture therapy
    • Neutron brachytherapy via Californium-252
  • Most clinical trials were inconclusive, and enthusiasm about neutrons as a treatment modality waned