Theoretical study of the influence of a heterogeneous activity distribution on intratumoral absorbed dose distribution

Ande Bao, Xia Zhao, William T. Phillips, F. Ross Woolley, Randal A. Otto, Beth Goins, James M. Hevezi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Radioimmunotherapy of hematopoeitic cancers and micrometastases has been shown to have significant therapeutic benefit. The treatment of solid tumors with radionuclide therapy has been less successful. Previous investigations of intratumoral activity distribution and studies on intratumoral drug delivery suggest that a probable reason for the disappointing results in solid tumor treatment is nonuniform intratumoral distribution coupled with restricted intratumoral drug penetrance, thus inhibiting antineoplastic agents from reaching the tumor's center. This paper describes a nonuniform intratumoral activity distribution identified by limited radiolabeled tracer diffusion from tumor surface to tumor center. This activity was simulated using techniques that allowed the absorbed dose distributions to be estimated using different intratumoral diffusion capabilities and calculated for tumors of varying diameters. The influences of these absorbed dose distributions on solid tumor radionuclide therapy are also discussed. The absorbed dose distribution was calculated using the dose point kernel method that provided for the application of a three-dimensional (3D) convolution between a dose rate kernel function and an activity distribution function. These functions were incorporated into 3D matrices with voxels measuring 0.10 × 0.10 × 0.10 mm3. At this point fast Fourier transform (FFT) and multiplication in frequency domain followed by inverse FFT (iFFT) were used to effect this phase of the dose calculation process. The absorbed dose distribution for tumors of 1, 3, 5, 10, and 15 mm in diameter were studied. Using the therapeutic radionuclides of 131I, 186Re, 188Re, and 90Y, the total average dose, center dose, and surface dose for each of the different tumor diameters were reported. The absorbed dose in the nearby normal tissue was also evaluated. When the tumor diameters exceed 15 mm, a much lower tumor center dose is delivered compared with tumors between 3 and 5 mm in diameter. Based on these findings, the use of higher β-energy radionuclides, such as 188Re and 90Y is more effective in delivering a higher absorbed dose to the tumor center at tumor diameters around 10 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Dose nonuniformity
  • Iodine-131
  • Kernel
  • Radionuclide dosimetry
  • Rhenium-186
  • Rhenium-188
  • Tumor
  • Yttrium-90

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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