Use of integrated SPECT/CT imaging for tumor dosimetry in I-131 radioimmunotherapy: a pilot patient study

Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2009 Aug;24(4):417-26. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2008.0568.


Integrated systems combining functional (single-photon emission computed tomography; SPECT) imaging with anatomic (computed tomography; CT) imaging have the potential to greatly improve the accuracy of dose estimation in radionuclide therapy. In this article, we present the methodology for highly patient-specific tumor dosimetry by utilizing such a system and apply it to a pilot study of 4 follicular lymphoma patients treated with I-131 tositumomab. SPECT quantification included three-dimensional ordered-subset expectation-maximization reconstruction and CT-defined tumor outlines at each time point. SPECT/CT images from multiple time points were coupled to a Monte Carlo algorithm to calculate a mean tumor dose that incorporated measured changes in tumor volume. The tumor shrinkage, defined as the difference between volumes drawn on the first and last CT scan (a typical time period of 15 days) was in the range 5%-49%. The therapy-delivered mean tumor-absorbed dose was in the range 146-334 cGy. For comparison, the therapy dose was also calculated by assuming a static volume from the initial CT and was found to underestimate this dose by up to 47%. The agreement between tracer-predicted and therapy-delivered tumor-absorbed dose was in the range 7%-21%. In summary, malignant lymphomas can have dramatic tumor regression within days of treatment, and advanced imaging methods allow for a highly patient-specific tumor-dosimetry calculation that accounts for this regression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / radiotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • tositumomab I-131