Palliative radiotherapy of malignant melanoma with reactor fission neutron therapy (RENT): A prospective study

Michael Bremer, Christoph Neuhofer, Thomas Auberger, Frank B. Zimmermann, Peter Kneschaurek, Waltraud Reuschel, Michael Molls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To study the efficacy and safety of relatively low-dosed reactor fission neutron therapy (RENT) at the research reactor of the Technical University Munich, we treated 33 superficial lesions of 20 patients with advanced malignant melanoma by neutron beam alone (n = 22), mixed neutron/electron beam (n = 5), or by neutron beam after incomplete surgery (n = 6). Median tumor volume was 17.0 cm3. Median dose for neutron beam alone was 8.0 Gy and for mixed beam 3.0 Gy n + 45.3 Gy e-. Local tumor response, local control time, survival and treatment related toxicity were followed prospectively over a time period of 52 months. Overall response rate (CR;PR) after neutron beam alone and mixed beam therapy was 64% (CR: 36%) and 100% (CR: 60%), respectively. Observed differences between complete (CR) and incomplete (PR, NC) responding lesions were as follows: median tumor volume: 2.0 vs. 51.5 cm3, local control time: 13.3 vs. 3.7 months, median survival: 19.8 vs. 9.0 months. No severe acute or late sequelae could be observed. In conclusion, low-dosed RENT is an effective and well tolerated palliative treatment of superficial malignant melanoma utilizing the biologic advantage of diminished cellular repair capacity. Because melanoma lesions of small size (≤6 cm3) tend to respond completely, neutron beam should be performed at an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Oncology Investigations
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Malignant melanoma
  • Neutron beam therapy
  • Palliative radiotherapy
  • Sequelae


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