A new method for determining dose rate distribution from radioimmuno-therapy using radiochromic media

Rulon Mayer, Larry E. Dillehay, Yi Shao, Shiyu Song, Yong Gong Zhang, Richard M. Bartholomew, Jerry R. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To describe and evaluate a new, simple, inexpensive method for directly measuring the radiation dose and its spatial distribution generated from explanted tissues of animals previously injected with radiolabeled immunoconjugates or other agents. Methods and Materials: This technique uses the newly developed radiochromic dye medium (GafchromicTM) which responds reproducibly for therapeutic dose exposures, has high spatial resolution, does not require film processing, and is relatively insensitive to ambient light. We have evaluated the dose distribution from LS174T tumors and selected normal tissues in nude mice previously injected with 9°Y labeled anti-carcinoembrionic antigen antibodies. Individual tissues from sacrificed animals are halved and the flat section of the tissue is placed onto the dosimetry media and then frozen. The dosimetry medium is exposed to beta and Bremsstrahlung radiation originating from the frozen tissues. The relative darkening of the dosimetry medium depends on the dose deposited in the film. The dosimetry medium is scanned with a commercial flatbed scanner and the image intensity is digitally stored and quantitatively analyzed. Isodose curves are generated and compared to the actual tissue outline. Results: The absorbed dose distribution due to 9Y exposure show only slight gradients in the interior of the tissue, with a markedly decreasing dose near the edges of the tissue. In addition, the isodose curves follow the tissue outline except in regions having radii of curvature smaller than the range of the beta-particle (R90 = 5 mm). These results suggest that the shape of the tumor, and its curvature, are important in determining the minimum dose delivered to the tumor by radiation from 90Y monoclonal antibodies, and hence in evaluating the tumor response to the radiation. The dose and spatial dose distribution were calculated assuming that the total 90Y activity is distributed uniformly throughout a half ellipsoid. The calculated spatial dose distributions for the half ellipsoids were similar to those observed from the dosimetry media that had been exposed to radioactivity contained in the tumors. Conclusion: This method provides direct dose evaluation without elaborate summary calculations based on activity measurements from serial slices. The measured radiation dose actually indicates the dose rate at the time of animal sacrifice. Quantitative analysis of radiation emitted from the tissues is relatively fast, making it feasible to examine a number of tissues under a variety of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-513
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1994


  • Dosimetry
  • Image analysis
  • Radioimmunoglobulin therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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