Radiation dose assessment in radioiodine therapy. 2. Practical implementation using quantitative scanning and PET, with initial results on thyroid carcinoma

Radiother Oncol. 1989 Aug;15(4):345-57. doi: 10.1016/0167-8140(89)90081-9.


We have designed special high-resolution, low-sensitivity collimators for a dual-headed whole-body scanner for imaging and quantifying therapy levels of iodine-131. In addition, we have used positron emission tomography (PET) with a low-cost large-area PET camera to achieve improved accuracy in the estimate to tumor mass. The physical performance of these two imaging systems is described. In order to illustrate the practical implementation of these systems for the assessment of radiation dose to normal and tumour tissue during radioiodine therapy, three clinical examples are reported, and a summary of the initial clinical results obtained from 16 patients with carcinoma of the thyroid is presented. The dose to normal thyroid remnants for patients undergoing ablation ranged from 16 to 400 Gy, while the dose to involved neck nodes ranged from 2.5 to 33 Gy for patients undergoing post-ablation radioiodine therapy. In one patient with distant metastasis in the spine, a dose of 100 Gy was achieved. The techniques described in this paper can be used to determine if sufficient activity can be accumulated in tumours to provide a therapeutic effect while minimising irradiation of normal tissues by avoiding administrations which do not provide tumouricidal radiation doses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / instrumentation*
  • Whole-Body Counting / instrumentation*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes