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Physical Aspects and Clinical Applications of Post-Treatment Yttrium-90 PET-Based Dosimetry

I Veltchev

I Veltchev1*, E Fourkal1,2 , M Doss1 , J Yu1 , J Meyer1 , C Ma1 , (1) Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, (2) Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA


SU-F-BRA-15 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Ballroom A

Purpose: The accuracy of PET-based post-treatment dosimetry of yttrium-90 microspheres has been improving over the past decade and is now at a stage, permitting volumetric dose-outcome studies. We outline the recent advances and identify the physical limitations to the accuracy of the dose calculations.

Methods: Convolution of the measured PET activity density distribution with a pre-calculated voxel-dose-kernel (VDK) is the most widely used method for dose reconstruction. Therefore, accurate knowledge of the beta+ branching ratio as well as the micro-dosimetric characteristics of electron interactions within the microsphere is essential for the computation of the dose kernel. We implement a model of the microspheres used in our clinic to calculate the modified electron energy spectrum at the microsphere’s surface and to determine the impact of self-shielding on the dose reconstruction. The three-dimensional dose distributions obtained for 10 patients treated with radio-embolization with yttrium-90 microspheres are evaluated and various DVH markers are investigated for correlation with outcome.

Results: The methods for reducing the overall computation uncertainty are systematically outlined in this presentation. Since the latest experimental data on yttrium-90 beta+ branching ratio has a relative uncertainty of 1.5%, all contributing factors derived from Monte Carlo simulations must be brought to a sub 1% level. The self-shielding within the microspheres is found to be responsible for up to 6% reduction of the reconstructed dose in low-gradient regions and must be taken into account. The contribution of trace amounts of other beta+ emitters introduced during the manufacturing process is also discussed.

Conclusion: The accelerating pace of clinical adoption of PET-based post-treatment dosimetry is mainly due to advances in both quantitative PET imaging and physical models of dose deposition. We show that the overall physical dose uncertainty in the convolution step can be further reduced, thus making ongoing multi-institutional dose-outcome studies even more reliable.

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