Extension of the biological effective dose to the MIRD schema and possible implications in radionuclide therapy dosimetry

Sébastien Baechler, Robert F. Hobbs, Andrew R. Prideaux, Richard L. Wahl, George Sgouros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


In dosimetry-based treatment planning protocols, patients with rapid clearance of the radiopharmaceutical require a larger amount of initial activity than those with slow clearance to match the absorbed dose to the critical organ. As a result, the dose-rate to the critical organ is higher in patients with rapid clearance and may cause unexpected toxicity compared to patients with slow clearance. In order to account for the biological impact of different dose-rates, radiobiological modeling is beginning to be applied to the analysis of radionuclide therapy patient data. To date, the formalism used for these analyses is based on kinetics derived from activity in a single organ, the target. This does not include the influence of other source organs to the dose and dose-rate to the target organ. As a result, only self-dose irradiation in the target organ contributes to the dose-rate. In this work, the biological effective dose (BED) formalism has been extended to include the effect of multiple source organ contributions to the net dose-rate in a target organ. The generalized BED derivation has been based on the Medical Internal Radionuclide Dose Committee (MIRD) schema assuming multiple source organs following exponential effective clearance of the radionuclide. A BED-based approach to determine the largest safe dose to critical organs has also been developed. The extended BED formalism is applied to red marrow dosimetry, as well as kidney dosimetry considering the cortex and the medulla separately, since both those organs are commonly dose limiting in radionuclide therapy. The analysis shows that because the red marrow is an early responding tissue (high α/β), it is less susceptible to unexpected toxicity arising from rapid clearance of high levels of administered activity in the marrow or in the remainder of the body. In kidney dosimetry, the study demonstrates a complex interplay between clearance of activity in the cortex and the medulla, as well as the initial activity ratio and the S value ratio between the two. In some scenarios, projected BED based on both the cortex and the medulla is a more appropriate constraint on the administered activity than the BED based on the cortex only. Furthermore, different fractionated regimens were considered to reduce renal toxicity. The MIRD-based BED formalism is expected to be useful for patient-specific adjustments of activity and to facilitate the investigation of dose-toxicity correlations with respect to dose-rate and tissue repair mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1134
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Biological effective dose
  • Dosimetry
  • Radionuclide therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Extension of the biological effective dose to the MIRD schema and possible implications in radionuclide therapy dosimetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this