SPECT Imaging Improves Radiation Therapy

Patients with bone cancer are often treated with alpha particle radiation therapy, delivered into or very close to the tumor. However, it is unknown whether the radioactive elements spread throughout the surrounding area or to the body’s vital organs, where they could cause toxic effects. Researchers developed a computational framework to measure the concentration of radiopharmaceutical material using a novel low-count quantitative single photon emission computed tomography (LC-QSPECT). The team will be able to measure the concentration of radiopharmaceutical activity in the tumor and the various radio-sensitive organs of the body using SPECT imaging technology.

Understanding how the drug is distributed within the body aids in treatment planning. Underdosing, which would not kill the tumor, is also a major concern. SPECT imaging could provide a method for determining where the drug has traveled in the body.

The researchers discovered that the SPECT imaging method provided reliable measurements of radionuclide uptake in previous research. They intend to conduct a human trial to validate this method in patients with metastatic prostate cancer who no longer respond to hormone therapy or are castrate resistant. The findings demonstrated that the method produced highly accurate and precise values of radionuclide organ uptake.

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