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Nucl Med Commun. 2005 Jul;26(7):593-9.

Patient dosimetry in radionuclide therapy: the whys and the wherefores.

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Department of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection, University of Ghent, Belgium.


The importance and methodology of contemporary patient dosimetry in well-established radionuclide therapies are reviewed. The different protocols used for radioiodine treatment of thyrotoxicosis are discussed. Special attention is paid to patient dosimetry in the largest safe dose approach for curative radioiodine therapy of thyroid remnants and metastases in the post-surgical treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer. Nowadays, meta-[131I]iodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG) therapy for neuroblastoma relies on bone marrow dose levels. Issues related to whole-body and tumour dosimetry in this type of radionuclide therapy, where, traditionally, dosimetry has played an important role, are discussed. A relatively large number of patients are treated with radiolabelled Lipiodol for hepatocellular carcinoma. Administered activities are restricted to 2.22 GBq (60 mCi) when using 131I-lipiodol because of the radioprotection measures to be taken. These radiation protection issues can be avoided by using 188Re labelled Lipiodol allowing further dose escalation. The follow-up of these patients also necessitates whole-body dosimetry. It is concluded that for treatment of malignant diseases reliable patient dosimetry is now a keystone of high quality radionuclide therapy. Where dosimetry of present medical applications focuses generally on the critical organs, in the near future accurate 3-dimensional tumour dosimetry also will become feasible by the introduction of the combined SPECT-CT and PET-CT imaging systems in the dosimetric methodology. This will allow treatment protocols based on tumour dose prescriptions as performed in external beam radiotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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