Polymers and boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT): a potent combination
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) has a long history of unfulfilled promises for the treatment of aggressive cancers. In the last two decades, chemists, physicists, and clinical scientists have been coordinating their efforts to overcome practical and scientific challenges needed to unlock its full therapeutic potential. From a chemistry point of view, the two current small-molecule drugs used in the clinic were developed in the 1950s, however, they both lack some of the essential requirements for making BNCT a successful therapeutic modality. Novel strategies are currently used to design new drugs, more selective towards cancer cells and tumours, as well as able to deliver high boron contents to the target. In this context, macromolecules, including polymers, are promising tools to make BNCT an effective, accepted, and front-line therapy against cancer. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of BNCT, and its potential and challenges, and we will discuss the most promising strategies that have been developed so far.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Polymer Chemistry Pioneering Investigators 2021