Fast voxel-level dosimetry for (177)Lu labelled peptide treatments

Phys Med Biol. 2015 Sep 7;60(17):6685-700. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/60/17/6685. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


In peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), voxel-level radiation absorbed dose calculations can be performed using several different methods. Each method has it strengths and weaknesses; however, Monte Carlo (MC) simulation is presently considered the most accurate method at providing absorbed dose distributions. Unfortunately MC simulation is time-consuming and often impractical to carry out in a clinical practice. In this work, a fast semi-Monte Carlo (sMC) absorbed dose calculation method for (177)Lu PRRT dosimetry is presented. The sMC method is based on a local electron absorption assumption and fast photon MC simulations. The sMC method is compared against full MC simulation code built on PENELOPE (vxlPen) using digital phantoms to assess the accuracy of these assumptions.Due to the local electron absorption assumption of sMC, the potential errors in cross-fire dose from electrons and photons emitted by (177)Lu were first evaluated using an ellipsoidal kidney model by comparing vxlPen and sMC. The photon cross-fire dose from background to kidney and kidney to background with varying kidney-to-background activity concentration ratios were calculated. In addition, kidney to kidney photon and electron cross-dose with different kidney to kidney distances were studied. Second, extended cardiac-torso (XCAT) phantoms were created with liver lesions and with realistic activity distributions and tissue densities. The XCAT phantoms were used to simulate SPECT projections and 3D activity distribution images were reconstructed using an OSEM algorithm. Image-based dose rate distributions were calculated using vxlPen and sMC. Total doses and dose rate volume histograms (DrVH) produced by the two methods were compared.The photon cross-fire dose from the kidney increased the background's absorbed dose by 5% or more up to 5.8 cm distance with 20 : 1 kidney to background activity concentration ratio. On the other hand, the photon cross-fire dose from the background to the kidney volume was negligible. The vxlPen results showed that the cross fire dose between two similar kidney volumes relative to the source kidney's self-dose were 0.5% and 0.02% for photon and electrons, respectively, when source and target kidneys were modelled next to each other. The photon cross-dose decreased as function of distance, and electron doses were zero at distances larger than 4 mm. The difference between sMC and vxlPen kidney total doses in the XCAT phantom study was -0.4% while the electron dose DrVHs were identical between the methods. There was a systematic 5% difference in photon doses in soft tissue between the codes due to different simulations parameters. However, the photons produced only 4% of the kidney's total dose, thus the difference was not considered significant for total dose calculations.The comparison studies show that the absorbed doses calculated using the sMC differ only slightly from dedicated MC simulator results, while the dose estimates can be obtained in a fraction of the dedicated simulator's calculation time. Results imply that there is no need for electron MC simulation for (177)Lu absorption calculations with current SPECT systems. However, the photon cross-fire dose should be taken into account in healthy tissues, which have a relatively low uptake especially in cases where there are high uptake volumes are nearby.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Lutetium / administration & dosage
  • Lutetium / therapeutic use*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / administration & dosage
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Radiotherapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Lutetium