Prof. Dr. M. Frederick Hawthorne
10B deliberately placed in tumors is expected to revolutionize therapy for cancers, because its reaction with innocuous thermal neutrons forms the extremely energetic, short-lived product ions 4He2+ and 7Li3+, which kill cells only in their immediate vicinity. For maximum efficiency of this treatment, the boron isotope needs to be placed in the cell nucleus. Thus the boron-containing compound must reach the tumor, penetrate the cell membrane, and finally enter the cell nucleus, but may not simultaneously concentrate in healthy cells. In this review the progress of research in this multidisciplinary field is described from the chemical point of view.