A mouse model for calculating cross-organ beta doses from yttrium-90-labeled immunoconjugates

Cancer. 1994 Feb 1;73(3 Suppl):951-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19940201)73:3+<951::aid-cncr2820731330>3.0.co;2-1.


Background: The organs of laboratory mice used in radioimmunotherapy experiments are relatively small compared to the ranges of high-energy yttrium-90 (Y-90) beta particles. Current Medical Internal Radiation Dose (MIRD) dosimetry methods do not account for beta energy that escapes an organ. A dosimetry model was developed to provide more realistic dose estimates for organs in mice who received Y-90-labeled antibodies by accounting for physical and geometric factors, loss of beta dose due to small organ sizes, and cross-organ doses.

Methods: The dimensions, masses, surface areas, and overlapping areas of different organs of 10 athymic nude mice, each weighing approximately 25 g, were measured to form a realistic geometric model. Major organs in this model include the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, thyroid, pancreas, bone, marrow, and carcass. A subcutaneous tumor mass also was included in the model. By accounting for small organ absorbed fractions and cross-organ beta doses, the MIRD methodology was extended from humans to mice for beta dose calculations.

Results: Absorbed fractions of beta energy were calculated using the Berger's point kernels and the electron transport code EGS4. Except for the tumor and carcass, the self-organ absorbed fractions ranged from 15% to 20% in smaller organs (the marrow and thyroid) to 65%-70% in larger organs (the liver and small intestine). Cross-organ absorbed fractions also were calculated from estimates of the overlapping surface areas between organs.

Conclusion: The mathematic mouse model presented here provides more realistic organ dosimetry of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies in the nude mouse, which should, in turn, contribute to a better understanding of the correlation of biodistribution study results and organ-tumor toxicity information.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beta Particles*
  • Immunotoxins*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Models, Biological
  • Radiotherapy Dosage*
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes / analysis*


  • Immunotoxins
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes