Radionuclide therapy with bone-seeking compounds: Monte Carlo calculations of dose-volume histograms for bone marrow in trabecular bone

Phys Med Biol. 2001 Apr;46(4):1149-61. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/46/4/317.


The purpose of the present work was to investigate how haematopoietic stem cell survival is affected by the differences in the dose distribution that arise from different radionuclides contained in bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals. This was carried out in three steps: (a) calculations of representative dose distributions in individual bone marrow cavities that are irradiated by sources of 89Sr, 186Re, 117mSn or 153Sm, uniformly distributed on the bone surfaces; (b) assessment of the corresponding haematopoietic stem cell survival and (c) a comparison of these results with results obtained using the assumption of a uniform dose distribution. Two different idealized models of the geometry of trabecular bone were formulated, each consisting of an infinite array of identical elements. Monte Carlo simulations were used to generate dose-volume histograms that were used to assess haematopoietic stem cell survival with two different assumptions about spatial cell distributions. Compared with a homogeneous dose distribution, the estimated cell survival was markedly higher for 117mSn and 153Sm, and only slightly different for 89Sr and 186Re. The quantitative results differed between the two geometric models and the assumptions about spatial cell distribution, but the trends were the same. The results imply that it is necessary to include dose distributions for individual bone marrow cavities in considerations concerning bone marrow toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Isotopes / therapeutic use
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Rhenium / therapeutic use
  • Samarium / therapeutic use
  • Strontium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Tin / therapeutic use


  • Isotopes
  • Radioisotopes
  • Strontium Radioisotopes
  • Samarium
  • Rhenium
  • Tin