Department of Pathology

Rolf F. Barth, MD

Academy Professor

Rolf Barth, MD




Email Dr. Barth

Office Location:

4132 Graves Hall

Mailing Address:

4132 Graves Hall
333 W. 10th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210


I have been involved in cancer research for the past 35 years. The primary focus of my research has been in the field of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for the treatment of malignant gliomas, one of the most malignant of human cancers. BNCT is a noninvasive therapeutic modality for treating locally invasive malignant tumors such as primary brain tumors and recurrent head and neck cancer. It is a two-step procedure: first, the patient is injected with a non-radioactive tumor localizing boron-10–containing drug that has a high propensity to capture slow neutrons. The cross section of the boron-10 is one to two thousand times greater than that of the other elements normally present in tissues. In the second step, the patient is radiated with epithermal neutrons, which after losing energy as they penetrate tissue, are absorbed by the boron-10, which subsequently emits high-energy radiation, resulting in a biologically destructive nuclear reaction. I have utilized my training in tumor immunology to focus on the use of monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs), directed against specific molecular targets such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), as boron delivery agents for BNCT to treat malignant brain tumors using a rat brain tumor model. Another component of my BNCT research has focused on the evaluation of low molecular weight boron compounds and optimization of their delivery for the treatment of brain tumors. A new area of research over the past 8 years has focused on another chemoradiotherapeutic approach for the treatment of brain tumors that combines administration of the anti-cancer drugs carboplatin or cisplatin directly to the site of the brain tumor combined with radiotherapy. This research has been funded by a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Energy, and numerous private foundations. In addition to the research described above, I have had clinical responsibilities as a Pathologist on the Autopsy Service.

Board Certifications

1970 Anatomic Pathology, American Board of Pathology

Academic and Medical Appointments

2016-Present Academy Professor, Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio.

2013-2016 Professor Emeritus, Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio.

1979-2013 Professor, Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio.

Education and Training

1964 M.D., College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York

1959 A.B., Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Selected Publications

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