A model of cellular dosimetry for macroscopic tumors in radiopharmaceutical therapy

Robert Hobbs, Sébastien Baechler, De Xue Fu, Caroline Esaias, Martin Gilbert Pomper, Richard F Ambinder, George Sgouros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: In the radiopharmaceutical therapy approach to the fight against cancer, in particular when it comes to translating laboratory results to the clinical setting, modeling has served as an invaluable tool for guidance and for understanding the processes operating at the cellular level and how these relate to macroscopic observables. Tumor control probability (TCP) is the dosimetric end point quantity of choice which relates to experimental and clinical data: it requires knowledge of individual cellular absorbed doses since it depends on the assessment of the treatment's ability to kill each and every cell. Macroscopic tumors, seen in both clinical and experimental studies, contain too many cells to be modeled individually in Monte Carlo simulation; yet, in particular for low ratios of decays to cells, a cell-based model that does not smooth away statistical considerations associated with low activity is a necessity. The authors present here an adaptation of the simple sphere-based model from which cellular level dosimetry for macroscopic tumors and their end point quantities, such as TCP, may be extrapolated more reliably. Methods: Ten homogenous spheres representing tumors of different sizes were constructed in GEANT4. The radionuclide 131I was randomly allowed to decay for each model size and for seven different ratios of number of decays to number of cells, Nr: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10 decays per cell. The deposited energy was collected in radial bins and divided by the bin mass to obtain the average bin absorbed dose. To simulate a cellular model, the number of cells present in each bin was calculated and an absorbed dose attributed to each cell equal to the bin average absorbed dose with a randomly determined adjustment based on a Gaussian probability distribution with a width equal to the statistical uncertainty consistent with the ratio of decays to cells, i.e., equal to N r - 1 / 2. From dose volume histograms the surviving fraction of cells, equivalent uniform dose (EUD), and TCP for the different scenarios were calculated. Comparably sized spherical models containing individual spherical cells (15 m diameter) in hexagonal lattices were constructed, and Monte Carlo simulations were executed for all the same previous scenarios. The dosimetric quantities were calculated and compared to the adjusted simple sphere model results. The model was then applied to the Bortezomib-induced enzyme-targeted radiotherapy (BETR) strategy of targeting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-expressing cancers. Results: The TCP values were comparable to within 2 between the adjusted simple sphere and full cellular models. Additionally, models were generated for a nonuniform distribution of activity, and results were compared between the adjusted spherical and cellular models with similar comparability. The TCP values from the experimental macroscopic tumor results were consistent with the experimental observations for BETR-treated 1 g EBV-expressing lymphoma tumors in mice. Conclusions: The adjusted spherical model presented here provides more accurate TCP values than simple spheres, on par with full cellular Monte Carlo simulations while maintaining the simplicity of the simple sphere model. This model provides a basis for complementing and understanding laboratory and clinical results pertaining to radiopharmaceutical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2892-2903
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Physics
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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Keywords

  • GEANT4
  • modeling
  • Monte Carlo
  • TCP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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