Estimation of radiation absorbed doses to the red marrow in radioimmunotherapy

Clin Nucl Med. 1995 Feb;20(2):117-25. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199502000-00005.


Myelotoxicity is the dose-limiting factor in radioimmunotherapy. Traditional methods most commonly used to estimate the radiation adsorbed dose to the bone marrow of patients consider contributions from radionuclide in the blood and/or total body. Targeted therapies, such as radioimmunotherapy, add a third potential source for radiation to the bone marrow because the radiolabeled targeting molecules can accumulate specifically on malignant target cells infiltrating the bone marrow. A non-invasive method for estimating the radiation absorbed dose to the red marrow of patients who have received radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) has been developed and explored. The method depends on determining the cumulated activity in three contributing sources: 1) marrow; 2) blood; and 3) total body. The novel aspect of this method for estimating marrow radiation dose is derivation of the radiation dose for the entire red marrow from radiation dose estimates obtained by detection of cumulated activity in three lumbar vertebrae using a gamma camera. Contributions to the marrow radiation dose from marrow, blood, and total body cumulated activity were determined for patients who received an I-131 labeled MoAb, Lym-1, that reacts with malignant B-lymphocytes of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and nonHodgkin's lymphoma. Six patients were selected for illustrative purposes because their vertebrae were readily visualized on lumbar images. The radiation doses to the marrow contributed by nonpenetrating emissions in the marrow blood and penetrating emissions in the total body were similar in these patients with a mean of 0.2 and 0.3 rads per administered mCi from the blood and total body, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radioimmunotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage


  • Iodine Radioisotopes