Comparison of Residence Time Estimation Methods for Radioimmunotherapy Dosimetry and Treatment Planning—Monte Carlo Simulation Studies
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Estimating the residence times in tumor and normal organs is an essential part of treatment planning for radioimmunotherapy (RIT). This estimation is usually done using a conjugate view whole body scan time series and planar processing. This method has logistical and cost advantages compared to 3-D imaging methods such as Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), but, because it does not provide information about the 3-D distribution of activity, it is difficult to fully compensate for effects such as attenuation and background and overlapping activity. Incomplete compensation for these effects reduces the accuracy of the residence time estimates. In this work we compare residence times estimates obtained using planar methods to those from methods based on quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) reconstructions. We have previously developed QSPECT methods that provide compensation for attenuation, scatter, collimator-detector response, and partial volume effects. In this study we compared the use of residence time estimation methods using QSPECT to planar methods. The evaluation was done using the realistic NCAT phantom with organ time activities that model (111)In ibritumomab tiuxetan. Projection data were obtained using Monte Carlo simulations (MCS) that realistically model the image formation process including penetration and scatter in the collimator-detector system. These projection data were used to evaluate the accuracy of residence time estimation using a time series of QSPECT studies, a single QSPECT study combined with planar scans and the planar scans alone. The errors in the residence time estimates were 3.8%, 15%, and 2%-107% for the QSPECT, hybrid planar/QSPECT, and planar methods, respectively. The quantitative accuracy was worst for pure planar processing and best for pure QSPECT processing. Hybrid planar/QSPECT methods, where a single QSPECT study was combined with a series of planar scans, provided a large and statistically significant improvement in quantitative accuracy for most organs compared to the planar scans alone, even without sophisticated attention to background subtraction or thickness corrections in planar processing. These results indicate that hybrid planar/QSPECT methods are generally superior to pure planar methods and may be an acceptable alternative to performing a time series of QSPECT studies.
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